Pavement parking

Pavement parking is when you park your vehicle with one or more wheels on or over any part of the road other than the road itself. It’s prohibited in Hackney unless you’ve got an exemption.

Legally, it’s known as ‘Footway parking’.

What is a footway?

Any part of the public highway not set aside for vehicles is covered by the footway parking ban. This includes:

  • pavements
  • alleyways


  • grass verges
  • central reservations
  • ramps linking private property to the vehicle or road (vehicle crossovers)
  • pedestrian crossings
  • areas that have historically been considered private property, such as certain types of shop fronts and any pedestrian areas
  • any other land between the carriageway and the building line

Reasons for the ban

London’s footway parking ban is in place for the following reasons:

  • to prevent obstruction to pedestrians – this is particularly important for wheelchair users, people with buggies and the visually impaired
  • to protect the footway as they are not designed for the weight of vehicles
  • to maintain a healthy urban environment
  • to maintain the footway as a public amenity

Can I ever park on footways?

For almost all streets in London footway parking is banned at all times, including on nights and at weekends. If you park on the footway in any way you could receive a penalty charge notice (PCN) and your vehicle may be towed away – even if only one wheel is on the footway. However there are some exemptions:

Locations that the Council has exempted from the footway parking ban

  • indicated by blue signs with the parking “P” and a car showing two or all wheels on the footway and/ or bay markings partly or wholly on the footway
  • if a sign shows two wheels on the footway, please park your vehicle partly on the footway within the markings
  • if a sign shows all wheels on the footway please park wholly on the footway within the markings.

Never assume a street has been exempted from the bans – even if there are other cars parked that way.

For loading and unloading

  • only if this could not have been carried out while parked in any other way and the driver was in attendance while parked
  • this only applies where there is no alternative loading area and there is no loading ban adjacent to the footway

Private land

You’re not allowed to park on the footway on on private land, unless:

  • the parking place is not accessible to the general public (closed off from public access)
  • access to private land is directly accessible from the carriageway without crossing over publicly owned land
  • it’s a driveway with a dropped kerb approved by the Council and introduced for vehicular access (and not for other purposes such as refuse collection or assisting pedestrians to cross the road)

Blue badge holders

There is no exemption for blue badge holders.

Page updated on: 29 April 2021

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