Pavement parking

Pavements are for people, it's time to protect them.

What we want

We should all be able to walk on pavements without worrying about vehicles blocking our way.

Vehicles parked on pavements are forcing people with pushchairs or children to walk unsafely in the road. And older people and those in wheelchairs can feel worried about leaving their homes as they feel unsafe walking down their own street.

We want to ensure pedestrians’ needs are put first, which is why we are calling for an active travel bill.

Why we need an active travel bill to protect our pavements 

Everyone involved has done a brilliant job getting the problem of pavement parking all the way to Parliament.

However, if we’re going to make walking safer and easier, we need a new law that prioritises pedestrians.

Our 2015 general election manfesto spells out how an active travell bill will work, amending existing laws to ban pavement parking across England and Wales.

And we would love for you to join us by asking your MP to commit to Living Streets' manifesto.

The story so far

• Thousands of people wrote to their councils asking them to tackle pavement parking
• In July this year Martin Horwood MP adopted the campaign by proposing a new law in Parliament to enforce a national ban.
• Nearly 1000 of us wrote to MPs to support the bill, which is now being considered in January.



Pavement parking - why is it a problem?

Pavement parking is a pain for everyone, but it’s particularly an issue for those with mobility problems, parents with pushchairs and older people, who may fear leaving their homes as they feel unsafe. As well as making it difficult for people to use their streets, it can also cause substantial damage to pavements. This costs councils tens of thousands of pounds each year to repair.

Who is responsible for enforcing pavement parking bans?

In many areas, the local council is responsible for enforcing pavement parking bans. The government encourages local councils to apply to take over parking responsibilities from the police. This is called decriminalisation, because parking offences become civil matters, rather than criminal. In other areas where the local council has not applied to take charge, the police will still be responsible for enforcement. The parking section of your council’s website should tell you the situation in your area.

Is government legislating a ban on pavement parking?

Unfortunately the government is not proposing a blanket ban on pavement parking. In London, however, a blanket ban on pavement parking does exist.

However, Martin Horwood MP has tabled a Private Members Bill to Parliament to extend a ban across England and Wales unless specifically exempted. 

What is the situation in Scotland?

A Members’ bill was proposed in the Scottish Parliament in 2010 by Ross Finnie MSP, to give councils greater enforcement powers over pavement and dropped kerb parking. In the public consultation, 83% supported the proposal, and 30 MSPs across the 5 main parties backed legislation. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time before the end of the parliamentary term to enact legislation.

Joe Fitzpatrick MSP has now declared he will take forward legislation in this area.

What is the situation in London?

Pavement parking is banned throughout the 32 London boroughs, and the City of London under the Greater London (General Purposes) Act 1974. The Highway Code states; 'You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London'. All councils in London can and should enforce this law by issuing parking tickets to any vehicles parked on pavements, unless there is a sign there that specifically permits it.

What is Living Streets’ policy on pavement parking?

You can download our policy briefing on pavement parking.


More broadly, Living Streets calls for:

  • UK Government to make pavement parking illegal throughout the UK
  • Scottish Government to expand dropped kerb regulations into Scotland
  • All local authorities to decriminalise and take on the civil enforcement of parking offences
  • Where police are responsible for enforcement, to take the issue more seriously and enforce all instances of pavement parking.