REPORTING someone for illegal parking might sound like something unkind to do, but if it is preventing you from getting your car out, then it has to be done.
This is what you need to know about reporting illegal parking.
Illegal parking should be reported to your local authority responsible for such issuesCredit: Getty
How can I report illegal parking?
You should report illegal parking to your local authority, which is responsible for most parking issues on public roads in your area.
The council might also be responsible for some car parks and other spaces.
Most councils have web pages dedicated to parking, and some allow users to report offences online.
Others have phone numbers, email addresses and postal addresses for people to send reports to.
You will ordinarily need details of the location, the type of the offence, and the time that the offence tends to occur.
For example, if you want to report somebody for parking illegally in a certain place at a certain time of the week, you will need to tell the council all of this information.
They can then respond to the tip-off and send a parking warden there when the offence is likely to occur.
If a vehicle is causing an obstruction, if it’s parked on zig-zag lines, or if it’s preventing emergency services from accessing somewhere, you can report it to the local authority or to the police non-emergency number, 101.
You can also report the obstruction to the police in person by visiting the nearest police station, or by checking your local police force’s website.
If a vehicle has been left somewhere dangerous where there is an immediate risk to safety, such as on a motorway, you can call 999.
What classifies as illegal parking?
There are several types of area where parking is prohibited, some of which are mentioned in the Highway Code.
Rule 240 states that you must not stop or park on:
- The carriageway, an emergency area or hard shoulder of a motorway
- A pedestrian crossing, including the zig-zag lines
- A ‘clearway’ as marked on signs
- Taxi bays
- A road marked with double white lines in the middle, except to pick up or drop off goods or passengers
- A tram or cycle lane during its hours of operation
- Red lines or red routes except where specifically permitted by signs
Rule 241 states that unless you’re an authorised user, you must not park in spaces reserved for:
- Blue Badge disabled users
- Local residents
Rule 243 states that unless forced to do so by traffic, you must not stop or park
- Near a school gate
- Anywhere that would prevent emergency services access
- At or near a bus stop, tram stop or taxi rank
- Near a level crossing or tramway crossing
- Opposite or within 10m of a junction, except in a proper space
- Near the brow of a hill or humpback bridge
- Opposite a traffic island
- Opposite a parked vehicle if it would cause an obstruction
- Where you would force traffic to enter a tram lane to drive around you
- Where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users
- In front of the entrance to a property
- On a bend
- Where you would obstruct cyclists’ use of cycle facilities
You must not park on the pavement in London, but elsewhere the Highway Code merely advises against it.
There have been calls to ban pavement parking across the rest of Britain to make pavements more accessible to wheelchair and pushchair users.
Parking on private land is rarely illegal.
On the contrary, it’s considered as a a civil matter.
You may find yourself effectively in breach of contract, for example if you overstay your paid-for time in a pay-and-display car park.
But this is not against the law.
Somebody parking on your property may not be acting illegally, and neither the council nor the police will be able to help.
Can I get fined for parking illegally?
You can receive a fixed penalty notice for parking illegally.
This can be given by a police officer or parking enforcement officer, who will be working for the local authority.
This is different to a parking ticket given by a private company, which is not enforceable in the same way.
You will have a certain amount of time to pay the penalty, or appeal against it.
If your car is causing an obstruction, such as being parked in a bus lane during its hours of operation, the vehicle can be relocated or “towed”.
Often this will be to a car pound.
This will incur additional charges, both for the towing and for every day the car is parked at the pound.
Parking somewhere like zig-zag lines is an endorsable offence and you could get three penalty points in addition to the fixed penalty notice.
Ten things YOU should know as a car owner
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