FAQs on pavement parking

Whatever the position in law, common sense and reasonableness should mean that people do not park in a way which causes inconvenience and disruption to others.

One of our key objectives in Walk Ride GM is to tackle pavement parking. We want to encourage considerate and legal parking and to we want to remind people of rules they may have forgotten. We all need to be able to move around to do the things we want and need to do and we want to enable that movement to be as easy as possible – to make every day safer and more pleasant.

Our ultimate aim is to effect a change in the law – we want to see a clear nationwide law prohibiting pavement parking unless it is specifically permitted. Local authorities can then manage the implementation of the law at local level taking into account specific features in that area.

Q. Is it illegal to park on a pavement?

A. It is not illegal outside of London. London has held a privileged position compared to the rest of the county and that has been the case since 1974.

Under the Highway Code (Rule 244), drivers can still face punishment for pavement parking if they cause an obstruction or serious inconvenience to pedestrians, wheelchair users, people with visual impairments and people with prams and pushchairs.

The Department of Transport are considering rolling out a nationwide ban on pavement parking. If the new law is enforced drivers could be fined £70 for parking on the pavement.

It is illegal to drive on a pavement.

It is illegal to obstruct or park in contravention of waiting restrictions, at a dropped kerb or on a crossing.

Q. Is it legal for motorists to park in cycle lanes?

A. Cars and lorries parking in cycle lanes is a particular problem for cyclists as it forces them out of the relative safety of cycle lanes into moving traffic, often with little warning.

Rule 140 of the Highway Code covers this:

“Cycle lanes. These are shown by road markings and signs. You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable. You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply.”

Put simply, the rules apply depending on whether the cycle lane has a solid or broken white line running down its right side, and whether any signage is in place.

A solid white line indicates a mandatory cycle lane which motorists cannot drive or park in. A broken white line is an advisory marking telling motorists they should not drive or park in cycle lanes unless absolutely necessary.

Motorists who are caught parking in a mandatory cycle lane may be given a £30 Fixed Penalty Notice.


Q. What is Operation Considerate?


A. Operation Considerate is GMP’s ongoing campaign to encourage all road users to show each other consideration.

Through Operation Considerate, Greater Manchester Police has responded to increasing demand for submission of video evidence relating to driving/moving traffic offences.

Use the online reporting portal here https://www.service.police.uk/ro/report/rti/report-a-road-traffic-incident/?frc=6 and submit your report within 72 hours of the offence. GMP will then be in touch via email with instructions on how to upload still or video footage. You will be required to submit a statement which will be a pro forma and if necessary you will need to attend court.

Q. Do I report to the police? Or do I report to the local authority? How?

A. Report vehicles parked in contravention of  waiting restrictions (yellow lines) on the road next to the pavement to the local authority. Note that waiting restrictions apply from the centre of the carriageway to the back of the pavement (building line). Find your borough reporting details here:

Your local authority pavement parking contacts


Local authorities have no powers to take action where there are no waiting restrictions.

The parking of vehicles on the pavement can be a danger to pedestrians and could constitute an obstruction of the highway and can lead to damage – these are both offences that should be reported to Greater Manchester Police via 101.

Q. Parking at and around schools – what can we do about this?

A. Apart from the Pavement Parking aspect of this, School Streets is another one of Walk Ride GM’s objectives. We want to help to encourage activity in children on their everyday journeys to and from school.

Here is how you can help in your local area:-

  1. Speak to the headteacher of the school to see if they want help to encourage active travel. Contact the local council and see what support the council is offering to schools in the borough. Also contact TfGM to see if they have someone in your area working with schools and find out what is already underway.
  2. Living Streets (the UK Charity for everyday walking) run the award winning WOW scheme. This is a year round Walk to School scheme where children complete a tracker and earn badges. Details of all the fun and resources for schools can be found here. Will your local school get involved in this?https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/walk-with-us/walk-to-school/primary-schools/walk-once-a-week
  3. Friends of the Earth offer schools with Clean Air Monitoring packs – this might help your school with the message to parents and carers about the quality of the air that children are breathing. This might help them consider alternative ways of getting children to and from school.
  4. Sustrans offer help with this too. See resources here https://www.sustrans.org.uk/what-you-can-do/children-and-families/school-run-cycling-and-walking-school
  5. School Streets Scheme. Read about what is possible in terms of closing streets around schools at peak drop off and pick up times.  Would this be a target you could strive for in your area? https://www.hackney.gov.uk/school-streets

See other resources here:


Living Streets resource packs and downloadable posters https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/


  • Contact your local school
  • Contact your local councillor – https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-councillors
  • Contact local residents – consider a flyer, use your local facebook group or community group to gather support
  • Join or set up a hyper local ‘Walk Ride’ group – for details on other groups which have started up and what they have done click here
  • Join our Walk Ride mailing list – click here
  • Join the Living Streets campaign and see resources at https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/
  • Join the RNIB Campaign and see resources at https://www.rnib.org.uk/campaigning-campaign-resources-my-street/cars-pavement
  • Join the Ramblers and see details of their campaign and resources at https://www.ramblers.org.uk/news/news/2018/august/action-needed-on-pavement-parking.aspx

Use twitter with the #pavementsforpeople hash tag.

  • Submit examples of poor pavement parking to @WalkRideGM using the #pavementsforpeople hash tag.
  • Report offences to the police via 101 or Operation Considerate, whichever is appropriate.
  • Report relevant offences to your local authority.
  • Use template letters to the police, council, media at Living Streets links and RNIB links above.