Pavement Parking Now Under Investigation by the Government

The simple act of parking half on, half off the pavement could have far-reaching consequences.

If you live in any modern housing estate you’ll know that parking is probably the bane of your existence, I know it is mine. Luckily, I have a three-car driveway with my apartment, which is a damn sight more than most of the four-bed houses in my area have the luxury of. I’ve not moved in nearly 12 years because of this fact, there simply isn’t anywhere that can give me enough parking, new or old.

Streets have become narrower as generic looking housing developments pop up from one end of the country to another. People are either too lazy to use their allocated parking in flats and apartments, numerous houses are turned into multiple occupancies where every dweller has a car, or there just aren’t enough spaces full stop; meaning the pavements become littered with four wheels as the struggle to park spills over onto the pathways.

Not only does this inconvenience every other motorist as they weave their way in and around the chicane of cars, but the reason paths were built, you know, pedestrians, sacrifice the most. Every morning as I’m about to pull off the driveway I watch as school children on bikes divert around cars with two wheels on the pavement, mothers with buggies leave the safety of the path to mix it with the hurried rush of the motorist on their morning commute.

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I get that some people simply have nowhere to park, it’s not entirely their fault as the developers haven’t catered for the number of cars that there are. Larger houses will often have a double garage and a four-car driveway, but only if you’ve got five beds or more, an average three-bed home makes do with a garage and a drive. Well, we all know the garage is full of clutter that’s not wanted in the house, and/or owners are too bone idle to park and retrieve their car from within. Kids grow up and ultimately buy a car, meaning that Mum, Dad and their offspring all have a vehicle, that’s one too many even if they used their garage.

In that regard, the Commons Select Committee has launched an inquiry into pavement parking in England. ‘Pavement parking’ is classified when one or more wheels of a car are on the pathway, while this was banned in London way back in 1974 it sadly hasn’t made its way across the country. This leaves local councils with unhappy residents, bills to repair damage to pathways not designed to take the weight of vehicles and a myriad of hazards for the visually impaired, users of mobility aids, children and parents/carers alike. 

That’s without taking into account the need for clear access for the fire brigade in the event of an emergency.

The Committee is requesting for written evidence on the following:

  • Impact of pavement parking
  • Enforcement of pavement parking offences; and enforcement &, if necessary, reform of traffic regulation orders need to deal with pavement parking

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While most motorists will think their actions are considerate to other road users, they could endanger life in more ways then they think. From a mother or child being knocked down, a school kid being hit on his bike as he swerves off the pavement around their car, or a family stuck in a house fire. The simple act of parking half on, half off the pavement could have far-reaching consequences. 

It’s hard to say what can be done when it’s just down to bad planning, do you paint yellow lines everywhere and send round a parking warden until people get the message? Then where do they park? It just moves the problem along. Do we dig up green spaces in our communities to build car parks with allocated spots for all those who park on our roads?

We may pay road tax to use our vehicles, but it doesn’t mean we own the pavements too when we’re not in motion.

What happens when you have a letter from your council telling you to park on the pavement

Hate it, but, where to park! So yes we pay road tax, tax on the vehicle if new, insurance tax and tax on vehicle consumables. We are then provided with inadequate parking facilities so will be penalised, another form of tax, for parking on pavements. Its totally a lose lose for the motorist, and while i don't park on the pavement personally totally empathise with their situation. So, no fines please, provide a solution...

Yes, some properties don't have parking, but very many could have the front garden converted, but that would mean the owner having to spend some money. Maybe people should consider the size of vehicle they buy to ensure they have room to park !

Modern housing developments are the problem no oudoor space for cars or people just squeeze another house in if its a 3 bed house it should have a min of three spaces ect and the problem would be infinity better we have five bed houses with 1 space great in rural areas were a car is vital for everything Government /Council planning causes the problems and now blaming the motorist

I can accept issues in older housing stock when car ownership was mainly confined one car per household but in truth the fault lays entirely with Councils approving the plans on newish estates without asking the question of where people will park. My daughter has just moved from a large modern estate, with narrow streets and off-road car parks, but only one space per property. Ridiculous.

Many do not realise, that their car is not insured, if its parked on a pavement & have no claim, if their car is damaged.

Just think of the extra problems this will cause with electric car, how will they all get to a charging point as for most people this will be a daily task.

So if parking partially on pavements is banned where are people supposed to park? Oh yes, on the roads, on housing estates where you are lucky if the roads are wide enough to accommodate two cars. So ban parking on the pavement and watch gridlock coming to an area near you soon. Planners have a lot to answer for, as have greedy housing estate developers.

I live in a bungalow where there is only 3 bungalows and we have parking for the 3 bungalows but there are 2 other cars parking where I am 1 of the people across the road park where I am she is a nuisance I have complained to the council so they just put a sign but both people across the road are parking where I am fed up nobody wants to know anymore

In my town the Council approved a developer's plan to build a 346 apartment block with NO parking. The developers excuse was that people buying an apartment would not own or use a car as they are near a train station & will commute to work and also the apartments are near the town centre for shopping etc. Of course underground parking involves unwanted costs which might cut profits.Like most towns these days few shops exist so to buy anything means driving to a commercial park or out of town supermarket. At the front of my house which faces onto a main road the Council built two large traffic islands which house a now unused speed camera. Thus all contractors park on the pavement as otherwise they would block the road. Mind you they also park all their vans & lorries on the pavement further along the road where there are no traffic islands. As we all know'workmen' are unable to walk anywhere, so must have their vehicle within immediate reach.

Yes utter stupidity - worse most of it was deliberate with the philosophy reducing the number of parking spaces will reduce the number of cars in the area. Utter stupid thinking baring no relationship to how p[people act, with developers happy to use it as an excuse so they can fit in more houses.

Where I live people don't park on the pavement, but the buses drive over the opposite pavement!

The rule could be simply no parking on the pavement so as to prevent a pedestrian or a buggy getting past on the pavement - simple!

"I watch as school children on bikes divert around cars with two wheels on the pavement" Thought bikes are not allowed on the pavement unless an authorised bike lane?

Pavements are for pedestrians and roads are for vehicles, how many drivers actually consider the pedestrian when parking half on/half off...I suspect not many, I’m all in favour to ban pavement parking

I think it's too late to do much about existing streets, but it could easily become a planning law that sufficient off street parking is provided. The greens will claim that we should be planning for less car ownership, but that is wishful thinking. Plan for reality. If it turnsout to be overkill that is great, but plan for a hoped for change and it doesn't happen - chaos!.

In London, pavement parking has been banned for years, except where the local council have specifically allowed it (in places where it is the only realistic option), but it doesn't stop anybody. The chances of getting caught is pretty small. Another waste of MP's time (and our money) discussing something that would have little effect even if it was brought in.

It's about time cars are band from parking on pavements ,where I live the people are just lazy . They have drives but don't want to swop cars around, but I'm disabled and in a wheel chair so is I damage your car it's your falt not mine . If it works in London then it should be able to work every were

Perhaps if councils offered help with costs to lower pavements more people would have drives put in, I know I would, I can't afford to pay all in one go. I agree that you shouldn't park on pavements, but on most busy bus routes I see most car owners parking half on/off as busses tend to get too close especially with traffic in both lanes. Maybe get rid of cars all together, ha ha, but that's another story.

I live in a block of 18 flats To get round the parking regulations they built the block as sheltered housing apparently this only requires one space per 4 flats Then when the building was completed the Council allowed a change of use to normal flats. We are surrounded by 4 bedroom family homes where eveyone has at least 2 cars a garage which they use for storage, a car on the drive and one on the street, Personally I would rather stop the parking of commercial vehicles on residential streets and No parkung within 2/300mtrs of a school entrance

I am one of the lucky ones that do not have a parking issue at home, I might be getting ahead of myself a bit, but what does concern me are that all these people that do have parking problems for the reasons stated, If they have a parking problem now what are they going to do a few years down the road sooner or later when the only choice of motoring is an electric runabout and the charging problem that goes with it.???.country wide.

The lack of suitable parking is a deliberate act, most new houses no longer have a garage!, the idea is to make car ownership difficult / expensive to get us to give up car ownership in favour of public transport but without the necessary investment in public transport to go with it!! Happy parking. Shorty

Pavements are often too wide for the amount and frequency of pedestrians. On some older estates the problem is compounded by a strip of grass verge at least as wide as the pavement. Remove these and allow car parking. New builds just make the front garden smaller and the road wide enough to allow a fire engine to pass with a car parked on either side of the road. This should be law anyway, it's ridiculous to risk people's lives with narrow roads. And invariably with modern estates there's only one entrance/exit.

Street parking is at crazy levels now, whether or not that is on the street, half on the street/pavement or all on the pavement as it is in my street, as the report says, mothers with prams, kids on bikes all have to negotiate the road to get past these fools, and this where crazy motorists cut the wrong side of the painted roundabout at high speed turning into a street that was built for horses. Yet all houses has a frontage that could, if paved, accommodate 4 or 5 cars. I had mine done when My children all bought cars, to get us off street parking. A new system could be introduced with a bye law that allows parking for four hours only in any 24 hours. Residents could then be forced to convert their frontage to take their parked vehicles. After grace period, then fines could be issued for them parking on the street. A residents permit could be considered for those with houses that do not have enough frontage to park a vehicle.

It will take a very long-term solution. New laws must be passed that ensure property developers provide parking spaces for tenants. eg. A newly developed ten apartment complex must provide ten parking spaces for residents. A limit must be set on the number of new cars registered every year and on new drivers who are allowed to buy cars. This would not affect current car owners. In Singapore there is a limit to the number of cars allowed on the roads. I believe that is needed in the UK. Cars on our roads are increasing by almost 600,000 a year. We need to stop this... now. Our government keeps going on about how green it is, but why are they allowing this? I know these are drastic measures. The only other thing I can think off is if everyone was forced to drive citycars and small hatchbacks. They don't take up much room. LOL

So in all the streets near where I live, cars park on pavements because there are no alternative parking places for a considerable distance. But residents are required to leave their wheely bins out for emptying one day a week, and some houses have no place to park their bins other than on the pavement. So one is to be classed as an illegal obstruction and the other is a legal requirement. What's the difference?

if you are a pram pussher or a wheel chair user then it must be terrible if there are parked vehicles BUT for me the thing i really hate is the a*les that ride a bike on the pavement. where are pedestrians supposed to walk???????????

If the houses weren't so tiny with barely any parking people wouldn't need to use the pavements. Bit ridiculous to blame car drivers, blame the town "planners" who let housebuilders squeeze in ludicrous amounts of houses/flats etc with barely any parking facility.

Our cornwall council housing wont give us more parking spaces even though there is no reason why they cant, They just rather waste money paying to get the grass cut instead of extending the parking bays, ie, 6 bungalows, enough parking for 4 cars..

Agree with you! If we parked on our street not half on half off the bin lorry could not get down nor could a fire engine. Our street just is not wide enough and we do park on our drive but visitors have to park on the street. There simply is nowhere else to park. It's a matter of fact that both partners in a couple need to work and most often it is a fair way from home and public transport is both expensive and never there when or where you need it

I understand the difficulty for pavement users but developers have decided to build more house and less road space. If people didn't park on pavements in estates built since the the 60's bin lorries, delivery lorries on ambulances couldn't get down most streets. Nor could many people get into their own driveways.

stephen i am a retired progect manager and traffic managment was a big part of my life the issues we have ie parking in london is dealt with quickly and efficiently out side local councils were they have a finacial intrest in doing so / car parks and yellow lines in town centres and local shops / 2 hour or 1 hour free parking but local housing areas they are not intrested but they are missing a large revenue in london they use small motor bikes and get a round very quickly iff councills adopt this method it will hit the offenders in the pocket and concetrate the mind wonderfuly the councill need to be given powers to control parking / pavement/ yellow lines just a few comments regards stephen

Referencing fire brigade access is stupid. I was in Merseyside fire brigade for over twenty years, driving a fire appliance around the wide and narrow streets of Liverpool. If half on kerb parking had been banned back then, we would never have been able to get down any of the narrow streets. I can see no problem providing there is enough room for a pram or wheelchair to pass, if the car gets scratched then thats the owners problem.

Some of the people have valued points .In my area almost everyone parks on the pavement except for the people that have the respect of the public .On a number of occasions people have had to walk on the road to get past cars butting there lives in danger .I have spoken to the police and the council and they dont give a dam about the public butting their selfs in danger .I have showed video footage and photos and still they dont care .I put it to them .When someone gets killed because they cant walk on a FOOTPATH .Key work FOOTPATH .WHAT THEN .They just ignored me and but the phone down .This is what we pay our taxes for and get nothing back . If you cant park with 4 wheels on the road then you cant park a car .If the road is narrow and you cant turn your garden into a drive then park on one side of the road only and not opposite the other car .I watch an old lady on a mobility scooter have to go in the road because she couldnt get past and the police and council new this and did nothing .Im all for STOPPING parking on FOOTPATHS .Not car path. FOOTPATH .Yes grass verges could be taken away to widen the roads but why .What next trees taken away The roads will look really nice wont they .Just concrete and tarmac everywhere .Oh and i am a driver and never park on a footpath .Not only i have respect for the public that walk on footpath ,the blind and people with prams and mobility scooters but i also look after my car and parking with 2 wheels on on 2 off can mess up the balance on your wheels costing you more money for more tyres .

At long last! There was a discussion on my local area FB page about this just last week. It amazes me how many people think it’s ok for vehicle to block pathways - on many of the local roads (well pavements to be correct) it’s not just 2 wheels on the pavement, it’s all 4! One conversation recently said, statistically there is less chance for someone to be hit by a vehicle whilst using the road when the pavement is blocked, than a car being damaged because it’s parked on the road... I really couldn’t believe what I was reading! When did a metal object because more valuable than human lives? NO answers required lol. I’m a wheelchair user, and spend more time in the road than on the pavements because they are blocked by vehicles. I have been verbally abused when I’ve asked a driver if they could move, they didn’t move because other cars were parked so why should he move! Valid point, NOT, I would have asked the other car owner to move had they been in their vehicles, but they weren’t. So banning cars parking on the pavements would be the best thing ever. However, an alternative solution needs to be sorted. Plus drivers need to remember that walking a few extra yards won’t kill them, unless they have to put themselves in danger by walking in the road, which would put them in the same situation as those of us in wheelchairs, parents with buggies etc etc.

A lot of the blame should be put on the building companies who build these housing estates knowing what is fully required but chose to be mean because they know they can squeeze another pound out of every one by making narrower roads, smaller houses, and smaller garages and garden areas. They know they wont get nicked for the bad parking it causes

Having had the unpleasant job of Parking outside my flat for some 20 or so years I feel I have become a considerate parker. But that only works if all the same, but I get on a daily basis up to three Council Vans or Utility Companies Vehicles Parking on what is by virtue my parking space and when every household has at least one car on the road and one in the drive. My roads parking is inadequate. Their is a nice verge that could be converted, But that would cost the council, whose budget will not stretch to their limo drivers let alone easement for there much maligned motorised!

you don't pay Road Tax, you pay a Vehicle Tax. people who pay for road maintenance are are the general tax payer (income tax, Council tax) and that includes non car owners.

100% agree. I know all to well the consequences of footpath parking and the problems it causes both in the short term (I am disabled and find passing pavement parked vehicles difficult when on my crutches) but in the long term the damage that is caused and then simply not repaired by lazy Councils which means the footpath becomes all but impossible to use in some stretches. It's all to often motorists just being lazy and not being prepared to walk a short distance , at least the able bodied one or not using the parking facilities they have.

Pvements are footpaths, they are designed for foot traffic only. Yes it is a big issue for many as to where they choose to park there cars but as a motorist myself I know how I would feel if pedestrians decided en masse to start just casually using to roads as a footpath. Same principle, think of the gridlock that would also cause. Also what cost in terms of footpath damage does parking a vehicle weiging upwards of a tonne do to footpaths, ok you can argue about piont loads etc but think of all the big 2 tonne plus 4x4s and vans that now casually consider footpaths as their free car parks.

Solution; don't park on footpaths which are specifically put in place for foot pedestrians, they aren't even designed to take repeated heavy loads such as a vehicle mounting and then parking. This is exactly why we see so many sunken kerbs and damaged footpaths with broken iron work such as drain covers etc. The clue is in the name - FOOTpaths not car parks. Hire a lock up or find somewhere not on the pavement and walk...

The rule should be even simpler footpaths for foot traffic/pedestrians end of. Do people not understand that a road is designed to carry repeated vehicle weight, footpaths are not. We live in an area where we get repeated non resident pavement parking as we live next to a sports venue and our pavements are broken up, kerbs all sitting like a row of old tombstones as they are repeatedly thumped and bumped. Ironwork gets broken or sunken causing mayhem for pedestrians.


I live in a house where we have garages to rent. Most of them are empty.


Such righteous indignation! You might re read what I wrote, I don't park on pavements and agree, however empathise because of inadequate parking, don't know how some people manage to get through their days without having a heart attack...I will now calmly have a chilled drink, and watch you lot steam... As I said, the govt need to provide a real solution not just impose additional fines.

Righteous indignation indeed but not from me. I wear two hats here 1. Severely disabled person who has had to negotiate past pavement parkers and not the first time I've fallen because of this. 2. Very keen & experienced motorist. IAM test passed also track experienced. I always park with due care and attention to all road users even if I have to park far enough away from where I am going that the walk will cause me severe pain and discomfort which can then last for days after. I understand the issues some people face when wanting to park as close to their home as possible but sometimes you have to suck it up and walk a little bit. Also, yes, been there re street parking in previous properties. No need to re read your post, I never even alluded to you personally parking on footpaths but speaking of the general issue. FOORpaths Vs CARRIAGEways.

Fair play, my misunderstanding, parking is such a big issue and while i have a large drive, others don't and this extends to the workplace or doctors etc where parking on the pavement is endemic, ignored by councils. Personally id just like to see more focus and a real solution. Sorry to hear how badly it impact you personally.