Motorists now face having their car towed away if it is parked on the pavement in a crackdown on this driving offence by police. Any vehicle which has been parked on a pavement in a way that causes an obstruction is at risk of being removed due to it being potentially dangerous for pedestrians, pushchairs, mobility scooters, and the visually impaired.
This warning has originated from police officers in Oldham who have flagged that motorists parking on the pavement in one area, in particular, is forcing people into a hectic road. Those found to be leaving their cars where they create an obstruction will receive a ticket first, and then their vehicle will be towed away if the car is not removed or they park there again.
Parking issues in Oldham
A stern warning has been sent to motorists by Oldham police as they have found that cars being parked on the footpaths just below Greenfield Station on Shaw Hill Bank Road have been obstructing the walkway, which has both caused excessive traffic and meant that people have had to walk in the road to get around them. It seems that drivers are parking here and then catching the train to work for the last leg of their journey and parking here to avoid paying to park in the rail car park.
Cars parked here will now receive a fixed penalty notice and face being towed, which will cost the offending motorist a £70 parking fine and £250 to recover a towed vehicle from the police.
But Oldham isn’t the only place in the country with the same issue. All over the UK drivers are resorting to parking on pavements to avoid paying to park in the proper areas that may also be further away.
Wider concerns about vehicles obstructing pavements
The main concern of parking on or across pavements is that it can cause an obstruction which means that those using mobility scooters or wheelchairs, or individuals who are visually impaired, could be trapped on the pavement and forced to move around the vehicle and into the road.
This has resulted in a spokesperson from the charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind suggesting that the Government should make parking on the pavement a clear offence as it can be hazardous for those who rely on the pavements to travel safely and without risk.
A study by Co-Op Insurance last year revealed that that 39% of British drivers are guilty of parking on pavements and 17% have done this because they have seen others do so. In addition to this, almost three-quarters of those in the study said that parking on the pavement often offers the best or most suitable option as they have limited places to park, especially when they have multiple cars per household.
Pavement parking law confusion
Laws around parking on pavements in the UK seems to confuse motorists as the Highway Code states that it is only London where people definitely cannot park on pavements, whereas in the rest of the country this offence is dealt with on a case by case basis.
Rule 244 of the Highway Code says that drivers “must not park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it”, which means that you could be punished at the discretion of the police. There is no obligation for police to issue you with a fine.
To add further confusion, it has been illegal to drive on the pavement in the UK since 1883, which anyone parking on the pavement would have to do to leave their drive if there is a pavement in front of it as many houses have converted their front gardens into car parks for their home
If you are caught parking on the pavement you can be fined £70, and the maximum fee for causing a significant obstruction is £1000, although there are no figures on how likely it is that this fee would be enforced. We could not find any record of anyone receiving a fine for obstruction by parking on the pavement.
Our advice is to plan well ahead and try to avoid parking on pavements. Use handy services like Just Park, that enables you to pay a low fee to park on someone else’s drive quickly and easily.
What do you think about parking on the pavement? Are there any situations in which you think that parking on the pavement is a suitable option? Let us know in the comments below.