Parking across a driveway is one of those irritations associated with the congested streets many of us live in. Here we look at whether it’s legal or not and what, if anything you can do about it?
Is parking across a driveway illegal?
If a driveway has a dropped kerb then it is an offence to park across it. Highway Code Rule 243 states that drivers should not stop or park “where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles” or “in front of an entrance to a property”. It is an offence to park across even a small part of the drive.
What is the punishment for this?
It depends where you live. But drivers who even partially block your driveway could receive a penalty charge notice. That means they could receive the relevant fine – just as if they’d parked on double yellow lines. If you want to park safely, there are companies who will help you to find legal parking in people’s drives.
What can you do about it?
Bearing in mind parking a across a driveway is illegal, there are plenty of things you can do to stop it happening. First thing is to check if it’s your council or the police that look after parking for your area. Then inform the relevant authority about the problem. They will generally only act if the owner of the driveway is the one making the call.
If you make enough noise about it, they will deploy an attendant; they might even put up some signs for you. Alternatively, you could erect your own sign saying you need access 24/7. If you get really desperate, you might want to put up a CCTV camera and sign covering your entrance which may act as a visible deterrent.
When you might run into trouble
You might get frustrated by the council’s lack of action. Afterall, local authorities aren’t famous for being highly reactive. In which case, you may resort to calling the police. If the car that’s blocking your driveway is taxed and insured, it can’t be classed as an abandoned vehicle. As such the police won’t tow it away.
Equally, if the vehicle is partially blocking your driveway but you can still get in and out, then it’s not causing an obstruction. Again, there’s not much the police can do about it.
What about restricting access
Parking next to a drop kerb is not illegal. That’s even if it makes getting into your driveway impossible. For example, cars might park opposite your entrance making it awkward to access a driveway if a vehicle parks right up to the dropped kerb. Unfortunately, if this is the case, there’s not much you can do.
What if the vehicle’s left there?
Should the vehicle be left for a month or more, the police might remove it as it’s not unreasonable to assume it’s been abandoned.
The space in front of your house isn’t yours
You might feel like it is, particularly if you spend good money on a parking permit. However, it’s not your right to park in front of your house, unless you have a designated parking space.