We have compiled the following list of questions which have been raised about the footway parking policy. If you have any other questions which are not answered on our footway parking pages please email us at Parking.Complaints@merton.gov.uk
What do 'highway', 'footway', 'pavement', and 'carriageway' mean?
The highway is a defined route or road to which the public have free access. A highway will generally have an area designated as a right of way for the passage of vehicles (known as the carriageway) and an area designated for pedestrians (known as the footway). A majority of highways are adopted by the appropriate authority who then maintain the carriageway and footway on behalf of the public. Highways that have not been adopted by the appropriate authority are maintained by the owners as opposed to the authorities. It should also be noted that we do not have the authority to take enforcement action against vehicles parked on private land.
Footway and pavement
Footway is a modern legal term which refers to the part of the highway set aside for pedestrians. The footway is more commonly referred to as the pavement, however it should be noted that footways do not all have the same surface. Footway surfaces vary, some have paving stones, some have tarmac and some have areas of both paving and tarmac.
In keeping with the legislation under which this type enforcement is undertaken, the word footway has been used in the policy, on the advisory signage wording and on the website. The word pavement has also been used in other information such as on the recorded telephone message and in the My Merton article as we believe it will be more familiar to residents.
It should be noted that for the purpose of the policy, 'footway' and 'pavement' are used interchangeably and refer to the area of the highway designated for pedestrians.
The carriageway is the area of a highway designated as a right of way for vehicles and is more commonly referred to as the road.
Why is my road not listed under the footway parking policy?
Your road will not be included in the list of roads affected by the policy if it is part of a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ). The list refers to roads where there are currently no local CPZ restrictions. Footway/ pavement parking is not permitted at anytime in a CPZ and enforcement action will be taken against vehicles parked in contravention of the restrictions.
There are a small amount of roads which are not in a CPZ and are not currently included in the footway parking policy. This is because both the carriageway and pavements are significantly narrower at these locations and therefore there is not sufficient room for vehicles to leave a 1 metre gap on the pavement without obstructing the traffic flow on the carriageway. For this reason, the decision has been taken not to take enforcement action against vehicles parked on the pavement in these roads at the current time.
In addition, a number of long roads have areas where there are local restrictions in place and other unrestricted areas. They have not been included in this policy as it is not possible for us to apply the new policy consistently along the length of the road. Motorists should check for any local restrictions in force prior to parking their vehicle.
Can I park in a bay which is marked on or partially on the pavement even though the policy states that footway parking is not allowed in that road?
Yes. Any existing designated bays or restrictions take priority over the pavement parking policy. There are some roads in the borough which have designated parking bays marked on or partially on the pavement, but where the policy indicates that pavement parking is not allowed. In these roads parking is permitted in marked pavement bays (subject to what the signage indicates) but pavement parking is not permitted on the pavement at other parts of the road where there are not bays.
Does the footway parking policy still apply in my road which is part of a controlled parking zone (CPZ)?
Footway/ pavement is not permitted at anytime in a CPZ and enforcement action will be taken against vehicles parked in contravention of the restrictions. For locations within a CPZ, during the hours of operation, the designated parking bays and yellow line restrictions take priority over the pavement parking policy by specifying where vehicles can and cannot park. Motorists should refer to the signage at the location for details of when the CPZ restrictions are in force. Outside of the CPZ hours of operation, priority reverts to the footway/ pavement parking restrictions.
Can I park on the pavement where there are yellow lines in a road where footway parking is allowed?
No. In roads where pavement parking is allowed, any existing yellow line restrictions take priority over the pavement parking policy by specifying where vehicles can and cannot park. Motorists should refer to the signage at the location for details of when any single yellow line restrictions are in force. It should be noted that double yellow line restrictions apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and therefore do not require signage. In controlled parking zones (CPZs) there are signs at the entrance to the zone indicating the times during which parking on single yellow lines is not permitted.
Can I park on the kerb stones of a grass verge in roads where footway parking is allowed?
Yes. In roads where pavement parking is allowed, providing the vehicle's wheels are on the kerb stones and no part of the wheels are touching the grass verge, no enforcement action will be taken.
How will parking adjacent to dropped kerbs be dealt with under the footway parking policy?
Dropped or lowered kerbs are installed to allow vehicles and pedestrians to cross the footway. The type of enforcement action applicable will depend on the type of dropped kerb.
Dropped kerb on corners and crossings
Where the kerb has been lowered to allow pedestrians to cross the road, footway parking will not be allowed either on or off the footway, directly adjacent to this kind of dropped kerb.
Dropped kerbs with single property access
Where a cross-over has been installed to allow vehicular access to a single property the resident may park adjacent to their dropped kerb, and may also give permission for others to park adjacent to their dropped kerb.
In roads where pavement parking is allowed, residents with a cross-over installed to serve a single property may park on the pavement on their cross-over provided a minimum gap of one metre has been left on the pavement for wheel chair users and pedestrians to pass the vehicle. In roads where pavement parking is not allowed, residents with a cross-over installed to serve a single property must ensure their vehicle is parked with all four wheels on the carriageway if parking adjacent to their dropped kerb.
Where a vehicle is parked adjacent to a drop kerb that serves a single property either on or off the footway without the consent of the resident a PCN may be issued if we receive a complaint from the resident that the vehicle does not have their permission to be there.
Dropped kerbs with access to more than one property
Where a drop kerb serves two or more properties, residents are not permitted to park adjacent to the dropped kerb either on of off the footway. Equally residents cannot give permission for others to park adjacent to the dropped kerb either on of off the footway. As such, vehicles parked adjacent to a dropped kerb which serves two or more properties, either on of off the footway, may be issued with a PCN without a complaint having been made.
Are there any exemptions for which enforcement action will not be taken against footway parking?
Yes. Details of when pavement parking enforcement action can be taken and exemptions to enforcement can be found on pages 63 and 64 of the Parking Enforcement Policy.
Where should the one metre gap be left?
In roads where there are no marked pavement parking bays but where pavement parking is allowed, vehicles should park on the carriageway side of the pavement leaving a minimum gap of one metre between the closest point of their vehicle and the nearest property boundary line or building line. Leaving this gap will ensure that wheelchair users and pedestrians with pushchairs will be able to pass without having to move onto the carriageway.
How is the one metre gap measured?
The one metre gap is measured from a property's boundary line or building line to the nearest point of the parked vehicle. The measurement is made using a laser measure accurate to within 2mm and the read out is photographed by the civil enforcement officer (CEO).
It should be noted that moveable objects such as overhanging bushes, dustbins and any other items placed on the footway are not included in the one metre measurement.
Can enforcement action be taken if a vehicle is overhanging the pavement when parked off street at the front of a property?
Some properties have converted their front garden area and had a footway crossover / dropped kerb installed so that they can park their vehicle off street. Vehicles should not overhang the property boundary onto the pavement when parking off street at the front of a property.
If a vehicle is overhanging the property boundary and any part of the vehicle's wheels are touching the pavement, the vehicle is in contravention of the pavement parking restrictions and may be issued with a PCN.
If the vehicle's wheels are not touching the pavement but the vehicle body is overhanging and obstructing the pavement, the vehicle owner may be liable for prosecution under the Highways Act 1980.
How does the footway parking policy apply to motorcycles?
The footway parking policy applies to all vehicles including motorcycles. In non restricted roads motorcycles should adhere to the footway parking policy and note how footway parking enforcement is applied at that location. In roads where pavement parking is not allowed motorcycles should not be parked on the pavement. In roads where pavement parking is allowed motorcycles can park on the pavement providing a minimum gap of one metre has been left for wheelchair users and pedestrians to pass the vehicle.
In roads that are within a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) different restrictions apply to motorcycles. Further information regarding this is available on our website on the Motorcycle Parking webpage.