Parking on the sidewalk: how to avoid a fine and what does the law say about it?

Car parking on the sidewalk is prohibited in London, but is allowed in other cities, provided there are no double yellow lines or other signs indicating a ban. Recently, 14 fines were issued only for parking on the sidewalk of one street. The incident raised a logical question: how to avoid a fine and what you need to know about the parking law on the sidewalk?

First, there is no current law prohibiting drivers to park on the sidewalk, with the exception of London. In the Road Code, Rule 244 states: "You must not park your car partially or completely on the sidewalk in London, must not do it in places where there are appropriate prohibitory signs. Parking on the sidewalk can make it difficult to move for pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, people with visual impairment, and also to prevent the passage of baby carriages or walking strollers."

Although the Road Code is not a law (it cannot be used as evidence in court proceedings under the rules of the road), if you parked on the sidewalk in London, you will be fined £70.

If we talk about other cities in the country, then partial parking on the sidewalk is allowed, provided that the car will not interfere with passers-by. In March 2017, the Local Government Association (LGA) called on all councils to obtain the same rights as London regarding parking on the sidewalk. But so far, these are only plans.

Martin Tett, representative of LGA's Transport, said: "Due to irresponsible parking, pedestrians can go out on the road to bypass parked vehicles. This is especially dangerous for parents with baby carriages, blind people or people with limited capabilities. The city councils would like to be able to ban parking on the sidewalk, as it currently operates in London."

City councils can completely or partially prohibit parking on the sidewalk by submitting an application for regulating Traffic Regulation Order (TRO). Measures taken can be permanent, experimental or temporary. They are used to regulate the speed, weight, transportation and parking of vehicles, and also refer to the movement of pedestrians. For example, the city council in Slough, Berkshire, is developing an experimental TRO that allows parking on the sidewalk only in specially designated places.

In which case you can be fined

If you parked on the sidewalk and this prevents free movement of pedestrians, then the police will write you a ticket. The maximum penalty amount can reach £1000. Also, the police can charge three penalty points.

In England, parking on the sidewalk outside of London is not prohibited. However, city councils have the right to impose a ban on such parking. Any restrictions will be clearly indicated by the corresponding road signs.

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