Michelin mystery - the parking question

Sue Rumfitt

I didn't see Tony's comments however, I work in highways and rights of way and the question of parking comes up a lot. 

Parking on a public footpath would be illegal if the parked vehicle obstructs the right of way; which it almost certainly will to some degree in most cases.  In law an obstruction doesn't have to actually totally obstruct the whole width of a highway, or even actually obstruct a user.  Footpath means a highway over which the public have the right to pass and repass on foot.  It is also illegal to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle elsewhere than on a road, without lawful authority or excuse (such as having a private right to do so, or it being an emergency). No offence is committed if  the mechanically propelled vehicle is driven on any land within 15 feet of a road, being a road on which a mechanically propelled vehicle may be lawfully driven, for the purposes of parking the vehicle on that land. This has sometimes been misinterpreted as providing a right to park within 15 feet of a road - it doesn't.

The question of parking on footways, i.e. the part of the carriageway that is reserved for pedestrians, or what we often refer to as the pavement, is a fraught one.  It is not a specific offence, though it is an offence to drive on a footway.  The government has talked about making it a specific offence. Obstruction of either the road or the footway is an offence.  There is no "right" to park on the road or the footway of any carriageway highway, irrespective of whether the road is outside residential properties or not.  And people are often unaware that parking restrictions, enforced by signs and/or yellow lines often apply to the verge and footway of the carriageway highway, just as much as they do to the road part.

I hope that helps.

Sue Rumfitt

On 08/10/2019 19:08, John F via Groups.Io wrote:
Tony Jervis mentions, en passant, that cars are now allowed to legally park on footpaths. Does this apply to pavements outside residential properties, or is "footpaths" a specific term for country lanes?
John Fowler