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Can You Park on a Pavement?

Cars are getting bigger, but the UK’s roads are staying the same size. This means that if you attempt to visit any major town or city at peak times, you’re almost guaranteed to be fighting for a parking space – despite the fact that car parks cover so much land already and often charge you an arm and a leg for the privilege of using them. Add single & double yellow lines, plus ominous red routes to the mix, and it’s a recipe for parking disaster! But what if you find a lovely car-sized space in a great location that just so happens to also be a pedestrian pavement? Can you still park there? Let us explain.

If your car struggles to even get you to the nearest car park without breaking down or giving you a stressful journey, or you simply want to get rid of your old vehicle and start using public transport to beat the traffic instead, then get a quote from Scrap Car Comparison today. We’ll track down the best offers for your car from professional, reliable scrap and salvage specialists who are ready and waiting to buy your vehicle. Our expansive network covers 99% of the UK, meaning that wherever you are we can even offer free collection for your car! So, get your car priced up today and a local buyer will remove and dispose of it before you know it! Give us a call on 03333 44 99 50 or use our scrap car price calculator now.

Cars parked on the side of the road near a beach in the UK

Is It Illegal To Park On The Pavement In The UK?

We’d love to give you a concrete yes or no answer for this question, but unfortunately, there isn’t one. The law changes depending on which country of the UK you’re in, and in one specific case, there’s even a city that has a different law of its own.

In Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and most of England, parking on the pavement is legal at the time of writing, however in 2024 it’s expected that decisions could be made to change this legislation. It seems that the new potential laws will be fairly strict on pavement parking, but could also be implemented on a local council-by-local council basis.

That one unique place in England where it is illegal to park on the pavement? Where else, but London… Parking on the pavements in the nation’s capital is strictly prohibited and actually has been since 1974! The Highway Code’s rule 244 explicitly states that drivers “must not” park on the pavements of London, be it in full or partially – even a single wheel on the kerb could be considered worthy of a fine! There are exceptions to this rule, however, and you can park on London’s pavements in areas where it is clearly signposted stating you’re allowed to.

When Is Pavement Parking Legal?

Unless you’re in London, pavement parking is legal. It only becomes illegal in the UK when within the limits of London and not in a marked exception area, or if your vehicle is parked in such a way that it obstructs or otherwise creates a danger to other road users.

Even in places where parking on the pavement is illegal, there are times when the restriction is lifted. For example, goods vehicles visiting built-up urban areas may have no choice but to park on a pavement in order to access the building that they’re delivering to. Many towns, however, have designated loading bays or parking spaces for this exact purpose.

Can You Be Fined For Parking On The Pavement?

Absolutely, and if those aforementioned legislation changes come into force the punishments could become much more severe. At present though, the fine you’ll receive will be somewhere between £65 and £130 in London. If you’re fined for obstructing a roadway outside of London, the charge will most likely be £70. As extra punishment though, your car may also be towed to clear the way.

What Should You Do Instead Of Parking On A Pavement?

Naturally, the next best thing to do is to find a car park that’s nearby and has available spaces. A multi storey car park will probably be your best bet if you’re in a major city, but car parks of all shapes and sizes are popping up all over the place in any bits of open land that councils or private firms can get their hands on. Luckily, these days they’re often accompanied by digital signs displaying the number of parking spaces that are currently free to save you from driving in circles only to have to exit again unsuccessfully.

If all of the car parks are full, road parking is another viable option. Take a trip into London and you’ll see parked cars lining virtually every residential street. While many of these types of parking spaces will be for residential permit holders only, that’s not always the case, and even if it is, it’s usually only valid during certain times of the day.

Another much more modern way of finding a place to park involves downloading an app on which home or business owners with a spare parking space can rent it out for a fee. This has grown in popularity in recent years and is especially popular in locations near to city centres, arenas or stadiums, and airports.

Wherever you end up parking, just make sure you are aware of the regulations around using that space. Be it a car park, street parking space or somebody’s unused driveway, there are always going to be rules that dictate how long you can park there for (if at all) and how much it’s going to cost you. Don’t get fined even when you think you’re doing the right thing!

The Rules For Parking On A Pavement In The UK

London is a bit of an anomaly, as we’ve explained that it’s the only place in the UK where pavement parking is illegal due to rule 244 of The Highway Code. The Highway Code also explains how parking on the pavement elsewhere isn’t illegal. Whereas rule 244 says that drivers “must not”, it goes on to say that when parking outside London, they “should not” park on the pavement. It is a suggestion, not a demand.

There are further exceptions around the UK that do make it illegal to park on the pavement, as explained in rule 242. This Highway Code ruling states that drivers “must not leave [their] vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road.”

We hope we don’t need to mention this, but we’re going to anyway… If a road is marked with any yellow or red lines, parking on the pavement so that you’re over these lines does not clear you of any wrongdoing. You are still parked on double-yellows and you can’t sensibly argue otherwise.

If trying to find a parking space for your old banger is really starting to grind your gears, consider selling your car and switching to something smaller, or even public transport! Scrap Car Comparison can get you the best prices for your vehicle offered by professional ATFs (Authorised Treatment Facilities) in your local area, with free collection and removal of the car or van included for every customer, no matter where in the UK you are! In just 30 seconds, and using only your postcode and vehicle registration, we can tell you how much your car is worth and have a buyer ready to arrange its collection for a date and time that works for you. Give us a call on 03333 44 99 50 or use our scrap car price calculator to get your quotes right now!

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