Will I get fined for parking on the pavement? What the law says
Councils want more power to fine drivers who block paths – and not just if there is an obstruction
There are calls for offenders to be fined in the same way they are for leaving their cars on double yellow lines.
Pavement parking is already subject to a blanket ban in London and the organisation representing local authorities wants the same thing everywhere.
The Local Government Association wants councils to be allowed to fine drivers just for parking on pavements.
At the moment councils like Newcastle will issue a penalty notice if the parking causes an obstruction.
The move is likely to annoy drivers who park on pavements to leave room for passing cars.
But the LGA say doing so causes problems for pedestrians, especially wheelchair users and parents pushing prams.
We’ve been looking at what you can and cannot do.
Isn’t it illegal already?
Technically, yes, but it is not always enforced in the same way.
The website Ask The Police points out that it is illegal to DRIVE on the pavement but, except in London, you are likely to be fined for parking only if there is an obstruction.
It says: “Note that it is an offence to drive on the pavement, yet despite the obvious inference that a parked vehicle has been driven on the pavement prior to being parked there, witnesses to the driving will probably be needed to secure a prosecution – this can be problematic.
“Local authorities can make an order prohibiting parking on the pavement. If this is the case, then there will be signs which clearly point out on a particular road where parking on the pavement is specifically prohibited. The penalty for contravening this will be a fixed penalty notice.
“Otherwise, parking a vehicle on the pavement could lead to an offence of obstruction being committed. This could result in a fixed penalty notice being issued to offending vehicles. It can also cause danger/nuisance for pedestrians and wheelchairs users.”
What does Newcastle City Council say?
They say the main purpose of enforcing parking regulations and issuing notices is to dissuade motorists from breaking the parking rules.
The council says pedestrians are among those it aims to help.
They say: “The parking regulations help pedestrians, in particular those with a visual impairment or mobility problems, by removing obstructions from pavements where there are adjacent yellow lines.”
The council says: “Yellow line parking restrictions apply to the whole of the highway on the side that they are marked, including any footway or verge.
“Therefore, parking on a footway or verge next to yellow lines can result in a PCN being issued.”
What sort of problems have been reported?
Pushing a pram round a parked car and into the road has obvious dangers, while blind people will not always be able to tell if their pathway is blocked by a vehicle.
A survey by Guide Dogs showed 90% of blind or partially sighted people had experienced trouble with a pavement parked car.
Will councils make money if they fine more people?
Yes, and the Local Government Association says it’s a good thing although motorists will disagree.
A Local Government Association spokesman said councils could benefit from extra revenue to repair roads, kerbs and verges.
He said: “Pavement parking and damaged pavements is one of the biggest complaints from pedestrians.
“In addition, repairing kerbs, verges and pavements damaged by pavement parking is expensive at a time when councils continue to face huge funding pressures as a result of further cuts to funding from government.
“The money spent on this would be better used to plug the £12 billion roads repair bill we currently face as a nation.
“Councils would carefully consult with communities before banning pavement parking and this is done sparingly in response to concerns which they have raised.
“This will enable them to better protect vulnerable pedestrians and provide a more consistent approach for all road users.”
How much will the fine be?
If it goes ahead, the fines will be similar to those for other parking offences.
Individual councils would decide how much to fine kerb mounting motorists, but it is likely to be treat the same way as any parking fine.
These are normally between £50 and £70, which can be reduced by 50% for paying within 14 days.
Newcastle Council says: “If payment is made within 14 days of the date that the PCN was served a discount of 50% of the penalty charge is applicable (that is £25.00 or £35.00 would be due).”
Are there sometimes when you have to park on the pavement?
Its a fair argument. There are residential streets right across the city where it is hard to see any other option than for cars to partially park on the pavement.
This is because there are many narrow streets which allow parking on both sides and without some use of the pavement, vehicles would not be able to safely pass along them.
The Guide Dog charity has an answer for this.
It is calling for a ban on pavement parking that operates throughout the UK but with councils being able to specifically permit it on certain roads if wished.
So councils like Newcastle would be able to analyse and identify the specific roads in the city where this action could be allowed.