Parking at Dropped Kerbs

No line, no sign - no fine, AA tells parking authorities

3 January 2009

Latest update – Signs not required

The government decided to press ahead with the requirement not to have signs at dropped kerbs and the regulations came into force in June 2009.

You can read a summary of the results of the government's consultation together with their response on the Department for Transport website here »

Plans to fine cars that park next to dropped kerbs, without signs or road markings to tell drivers not to, must not go ahead, says the AA. Even more absurdly, drivers could be issued £70 penalty charge notices for parking in front of the dropped kerb leading to their own house.

In March 2008, the Department for Transport published new parking guidance to councils, headlined 'Parking set to become fairer, clearer and more open under new system'. However, in July, it consulted on proposals to remove the need for signs outside of London.

AA comment

Commenting on the proposals, Paul Watters, Head of Roads Policy for the AA, said: "Anti-social parking, such as blocking routes for pushchairs, wheelchairs or pedestrians, and also access to property, is a nuisance and it is right that local authorities respond. However, we cannot give local authorities carte-blanche to enforce this rule without giving motorists any warning.

"In the past, local authorities have dealt with these problems by using a white line to show where specific problem spots should be kept clear. The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions specifically refers to use of this sign (line) in these circumstances and that was the case when these powers were extended to local authorities in March".

Unlike other 'waiting restrictions', local authorities are not required to make traffic regulation orders to enforce this new rule. The AA sees this as reasonable but calls for a requirement to mark the dropped kerb enforcement area with white paint.

Taken to extremes, householders or businesses could get their own cars ticketed whilst they are legitimately parked alongside the 'access' (dropped kerb) outside – not causing any nuisance or obstruction to anyone but themselves.


Section 8.59 of the new parking guidance issued in March 2008 stated ".....but outside London traffic signs or road markings must be used to show where the (dropped kerb) prohibitions apply. Many such prohibitions are already indicated – for instance at street corners".

Local authority parking income from penalties and payments amounts to over £1bn per annum.

Parking alongside a dropped kerb is considered to be a higher level offence – at pre-discounted rate it is £120 in London and £70 outside.

Around eight million penalty charge notices are issued each year in England and Wales (including London).

DfT consultation on prohibition of double parking and parking at dropped footways »

Join the discussion in the AA zone


9 October 2009