Dropped or lowered kerbs are essentially pavement ramps that allow for easy passage from pavement to road for wheelchair users, push chairs and the visually impaired. Dropped kerbs are also placed opposite the driveways to many business’s and private property to allow for vehicle access.
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.
Dropped kerb parking enforcement
A vehicle that is found to be parked either fully or partially alongside a dropped kerb will see the parking enforcement officer issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) when an offence has been seen throughout their daily patrol route.
A particular vehicle, or vehicles keep parking across the dropped kerb of my driveway, can I complain?
Complaints can be made to local police via their non-emergency number, although it is recommended to contact the local council. Action from the council can occur only if the complaint is received from the occupier of the affected premises. Name, address and contact details are required and confirmation that they are the occupier.
Action on the councils behalf is subject to staff availability and current location. Complaints received for repeated offences may see a parking enforcement officers route temporarily altered to deal with the issues.
If the problem persists on a regular basis, the council may provide the address owner with white bar markings along the dropped kerb area on the carriageway. White lines are not enforceable by police or councils and act as only an advisory area where not to park.
Can I park across my own dropped kerb
To avoid being issued a PCN for parking across your own driveway where a dropped kerb has been implemented, contact your local council to confirm your residency details and make, models and registration of your vehicle.
Are there exemptions to parking alongside a dropped kerb?
Exemptions to the contravention of parking at dropped kerbs are:
- Setting down or picking up passengers
- Loading or unloading a vehicle providing there are no loading and unloading bans in place
- Vehicles used by emergency services
- Vehicles parked on the carriageway across a dropped kerb that have the occupiers consent
- Waste collection trucks
- Road work vehicles
Dropped kerb parking fines
The amount of fine required to pay if issued a Penalty charge Notice by local council authorities depends on the borough where the ticket was issued. Fines issued by councils regarding parking offences generally range from £70 up to £120 and is typically reduced by 50% if paid within a certain time detailed on the ticket.
If issued a parking ticket by the police, a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) is given. This can be either non-endorsable (no penalty points on the licence) or endorsable (three penalty points) FPN. A Fixed Penalty Notice ranges from either £50 or £100. The amount fined and whether penalty points are gives depends on the severity of the offence and the impact or potential impact it has on vulnerable road users.
Related information on parking
Browse the parking laws section for further information on parking laws and prohibitions.