Parking on grass verges or footpaths

It is not against the law to park on a grass verge.

Exceptions to this are:

How illegal parking on grass verges is enforced

In some areas a special parking area (SPA) is in force.

This means that we can give a parking ticket or penalty charge notice (PCN) to vehicles that break parking regulations, rather than for causing an obstruction.

This includes HGVs parked on grass verges, or vehicles that break a traffic regulation order (TRO) or local bylaw.

Drivers that park illegally on grass verges may also be charged with a criminal offence for causing an obstruction or damage.

This becomes a matter for the police under this legislation:

  • section 28 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847: causing an obstruction to any public footpath or public thoroughfare
  • regulation 103 of Road Vehicles – Regulations 1986: vehicles that cause unnecessary obstruction of the road (including grass verges)
  • section 22 of the Road Traffic Act 1988: leaving vehicles in a dangerous position on the road (including grass verges)
  • section 137 of the Highways Act 1980: obstruction of free passage along a highway
  • section 72 of the Highways Act 1835: driving on any footpath or causeway by the side of any road that is made or set apart for the use of pedestrians
  • section 131(1)(c) of the Highways Act 1980: putting anything on a highway that may damage the highway

Local bylaws that cover grass verges

In 1956 we introduced a bylaw that makes it illegal to drive or park on some grass verges. This bylaw is to protect trees and plants growing on road margins.

This bylaw only applies to road margins beside a public road that have been:

  • sown with grass
  • planted with trees and shrubs
  • maintained constantly for ornamental purposes, and have a sign saying that the bylaw applies

This bylaw is still in force.

Traffic regulation orders that cover grass verges

Unless a traffic regulation order (TRO) says otherwise, the restrictions shown by kerbside lines and signs apply to the entire width of a road, right up to the boundary of adjacent properties.

This includes grass verges.

If parking on a grass verge is acceptable, but needs to be restricted by the side of the road, a TRO can be written to exclude the verge.

But a TRO cannot override:

If you want to apply for a TRO to allow parking on a grass verge, this can take 12 to 26 weeks.

It is likely to cost between £3,000 and £5,000.

Contact the parking team

You can report parking problems online using FixMyStreet.

Report a parking problem