Can you park in front of a dropped kerb?
Drivers that park alongside a dropped kerb must consider not only legal issues, but those of a moral nature. Parking adjacent to a dropped kerb can cause considerable difficulties and put vulnerable pedestrians and road users at risk.
Those that park in front of a premises with a dropped kerb cause significant inconvenience to those trying to access or leave the premises.
DROPPED KERB PARKING LAW
There are effectively two types of dropped kerbs; the type outside of private or business residence to allow access to the property, and those found at or close to pedestrian crossings. Parking a vehicle across either type of dropped kerb is classed as an obstruction and either the police or local councils can enforce the contravention. Based on the resources a particular authority has in dealing with the contravention, particular attention will typically be allocated to offences that impede the passage of those with disabilities.
Parking adjacent to a dropped kerb becomes a contravention where a vehicle is parked on the carriageway alongside a place where the footpath, cycle lane or verge has been lowered to the level of the carriageway to enable easier passage to:
- Pedestrians crossing the carriageway
- Cyclists leaving or entering the carriageway
- Vehicles that enter or exit a property across a footpath
The Highway Code rule 243 advises drivers that ‘Except when forced to do so by stationary traffic, DO NOT stop or park:
- where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles, or where it would obstruct cyclists
- in front of an entrance to a property’
WHAT IS CONSIDERED DROPPED KERB OBSTRUCTION
The extent at which obstruction is considered as a contravention code 27 of parking adjacent to a dropped footway includes the height transition kerb stones between the lower and higher part of the kerb as detailed in the diagram to the right.
WHO CAN ISSUE A PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE FOR PARKING ALONGSIDE A DROPPED KERB
Under the Traffic Management Act 2004, grant councils that are Special Enforcement Areas (SPA) the power to enforce contravention code 27: Parked adjacent to a dropped footway.
Although the police generally now have less of a role for dealing with parking issues, Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) are often issued to motorists that leave their vehicle in a hazardous position, or a location that may impede wheelchair users. Alternatively, the police may find the owner of the vehicle and ask them to remove it, or possibly remove the vehicle themselves.
THERE ARE NO SIGNS PROHIBITING PARKING ADJACENT TO DROPPED KERBS. WHY?
During 2008 the Department for Transport deemed it unnecessary for the use of road markings or road signs to illustrate a prohibition for parking across a dropped kerb. Therefore enforcement authorities can issue prohibition notices without the need for a Traffic Regulation Order which is required by use of road signs to make parking on certain road markings a contravention.