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Footway parking

Policy area: Transport


Footway Parking Opens in a new window 

Introduction

Parking on footways or footpaths (pavements, grass verges, alleyways, etc), or in front of dropped footways or raised carriageways (for example driveways or pedestrian crossings) is banned on almost all streets in London at all times, including at night and weekends. If you park in such a way then you could receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and may also be towed away – even if only one or two wheels are on the footway. This leaflet gives details of how and why the bans operate, and the excep­tions to them.

Reasons for the bans

  • to prevent obstruction to pedestrians. Cars and other vehicles parked on footways or at pedestrian crossings can make life difficult and dangerous for pedestrians, in particular for wheelchair users, people with baby buggies and the partially sighted. Vehicles parked in front of driveways block access to and from the premises
  • to prevent damage to the footway. Unlike road surfaces, footways are not designed to take the weight of cars or other motor vehicles. Much of the damage to London’s footways (cracked or sunken paving slabs etc) is caused by vehicles parking illegally on the footway. Repairs cost London’s councils millions of pounds each year, and tripping on damaged footways is the cause of many pedestrian injuries
  • to maintain footways as an amenity. The presence of cars and other vehicles parked on footways, verges and other pedestrian areas is detrimental to the urban environment.

Grass verges and other areas

Any part of the public highway not set aside for vehicles is covered by the footway parking ban. This includes grass verges, central reservations, ramps linking private property to the road and pedestrian crossings. Cars and other vehicles should only be parked on the road away from places where access is needed.

Exemptions to the bans

parking signs

There are two main exceptions to the bans:

  • vehicles parked in places which the local council has exempted from the bans. If you are parking in a street exempted from the ban then there will be bays painted in white indicating where you can park. Never assume that a street has been exempted from the bans – even if there are other cars parked that way – unless there are signs indicating that footway parking is permitted. Where parking on the footway is permitted this is indicated by signs with the parking “P” and showing a car parked on the footway (see examples above: one wheel on the raised area indicates that two wheels may be on the footway and the whole vehicle on the footway indicates all four wheels)
  • for loading or unloading when there is no other way the delivery or collection could be made. This exemption only applies in very limited circumstances and only where there is no loading ban in place. For further details on loading rules see London Councils’ leaflet on “Loading and Unloading”.

There is no exemption to the ban for holders of disabled badges.