Where parking is at a premium, some drivers will take desperate measures to secure a space.
One of the most frustrating situations for many home owners is when others park in front of their driveway. So, what is the law surrounding this? And is there anything that can be done?
The space in front of your house isn’t ‘yours’
The law is fairly clear on people’s rights to park in residential areas. Unless otherwise specified, the spaces on your street, and outside your home, are fair game. The police will remind you that it’s not ‘your right’ to park in front of your house.
That said, there is one situation where this doesn’t apply: areas that use resident parking permits, which have proliferated where commuter parking is rife. These areas require displayed permits, owned by residents only, for specified periods of the day.
A couple more grey-area parking rules are that you’re not allowed to park ‘in front of an entrance to a property’, or ‘anywhere that would prevent access for emergency services’. These are potentially worth investigating for your problem parker.
Parking pariahs: places you should NOT park
There are a number of areas where you are definitely not allowed to park. These are areas marked off by zig-zag, red or double yellow lines. You should also avoid cycle lanes, marked taxi bays and close proximity to bus/tram stops if the signs indicate as such.
Parking near to school entrances is also not allowed, along with areas close to junctions, plus parking spaces for Blue Badge holders and motorbikes.
Driveway parking: the law
Where people are not allowed to park is in front of your driveway, provided, of course, that there is a dropped kerb.
Dropped kerbs, be they for pedestrians, or for drivers, are a no-go zone for parking. A vehicle can be ticketed for even partially covering one. Parking close to a dropped kerb, even if it restricts access, is not illegal, however.
What also isn’t illegal, bizarrely, is parking on someone else’s drive. It’s private property, and therefore a civil issue.
“In a bizarre way, the system seems to favour the offender over the victim in this case,” said Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA.
“Because the offence of trespass is a civil matter the police cannot get involved, and as the vehicle is on private land the council cannot help either. So the only options available to homeowners seeking to get back what is rightfully theirs, costs both time and money.”
Provided the car is taxed, insured, has an MOT and is in safe condition, this is an issue way down the priority list of the authorities. Thankfully, it’s not all that common.