Thousands of UK drivers unaware of drastic new parking rule change

A row of cars parked half on the pavement on a narrow UK road

Many UK roads are too narrow for cars to park anywhere but the pavement

With all the debate around the ULEZ, drivers may not be aware of other driving laws being considered. Did you know the government is looking into potentially banning pavement parking? 

Why do pavement parking rules need to change? 

The Department for Transport (DfT) is beginning to address concerns about pavement parking.  

A consultation found that many towns no longer have good enough infrastructure to support today’s high traffic volumes. This is forcing drivers to park on pavements instead of in car parks or in designated spaces on the road.  

Peter Waddell, CEO of Big Motoring World, says: “Pedestrians are often frustrated at their path being blocked by cars, but motorists who have no choice but to park on narrow roads will be scratching their heads and wondering what they are supposed to do.” 

What do the public think about pavement parking? 

It appears most of the public are in agreement about banning payment parking, with a poll showing 64% of Britons agreeing that drivers should not be allowed to park their vehicles on the pavement.  

Belfast is most in favour of the change, with a huge 79% saying they agree with the pavement parking ban. 

Bristol and Southampton are also huge supporters, with 78% and 75% in favour respectively. Just behind those cities are Edinburgh and Norwich, which tie at 73% in favour. 

Meanwhile, Liverpool is most opposed to the ban, with only 32% of those asked in favour.  

What is the government’s plan? 

So far, the government has made no definitive decisions on a pavement parking ban. However, they have put forward two possible options, should they go ahead with a ban. 

Option 1: Enabling local authorities to enforce penalties for ‘causing unnecessary obstruction of the pavement’. Essentially, this means you’d have to check the pavement parking rules in every council area you go to before you park on the pavement. 

Option 2: A national prohibition on pavement parking aside from specific locations where local authorities may allow it. This means you’ll be banned from parking on the pavement everywhere, apart from specifically dedicated areas decided on by local councils.  

The DfT has completed an evidence review looking into various issues caused by pavement parking in an effort to identify the most pressing problems, as well as possible solutions.  

While there has been no official report yet, a review outlining responses and future plans to pavement parking problems is expected to be published fairly soon.  

If you’d like to know more about new driving rules, check out these 3 motoring updates in September.