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About parking on the highway

This section covers an array of topics associated with parking in Staffordshire and is intended to offer guidance on policies ranging from enforcement to disabled parking bays.

Report parking problems

On-street parking
Off-street parking

In addition, please see our parking FAQ section which provides information for more difficult scenarios such as school related parking problems.

Where can vehicles park/wait on the public highway?

The county council cannot legally prevent anyone from parking their vehicle on the public highway if there are no existing parking restrictions.

The Highway Code provides extensive detail on where vehicles can and cannot park on the public highway and advises:

‘You must not wait or park on yellow lines during the times of operation shown on nearby time plates. Double yellow lines indicate a prohibition of waiting at any time even if there are no upright signs. You must not wait or park, or stop to set down and pick up passengers, on school entrance markings when upright signs indicate a prohibition of stopping.’

You must not stop or park on:

  • a pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zig-zag lines
  • a clearway (see ‘traffic signs’)
  • taxi bays as indicated by upright signs and markings
  • an urban clearway within its hours of operation, except to pick up or set down passengers (see ‘traffic signs’)
  • a road marked with double white lines, even when a broken white line is on your side of the road, except to pick up or set down passengers, or to load or unload goods
  • a tram or cycle lane during its period of operation
  • a cycle track

Do not stop or park:

  • near a school entrance
  • anywhere you would prevent access for emergency services
  • at or near a bus or tram stop or taxi rank
  • on the approach to a level crossing/tramway crossing
  • opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space
  • near the brow of a hill or hump bridge
  • opposite a traffic island or (if this would cause an obstruction) another parked vehicle
  • where you would force other traffic to enter a tram lane
  • where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles
  • in front of an entrance to a property
  • on a bend
  • where you would obstruct cyclists’ use of cycle facilities;

Except when forced to do so by stationary traffic.

If you do have to park/stop on the roadside:

  • do not park facing against the traffic flow
  • stop as close as you can to the side
  • do not stop too close to a vehicle displaying a Blue Badge - remember, the occupant may need more room to get in or out
  • you must switch off the engine, headlights and fog lights
  • you must apply the handbrake before leaving the vehicle
  • you must ensure you do not hit anyone when you open your door. Check for cyclists or other traffic
  • it is safer for passengers (especially children) to get out of the vehicle on the side next to the kerb

Footway (pavement) parking

Rule 244 of the Highway Code states that drivers must not park partially or wholly on the pavement in London and should not elsewhere unless signs permit it.

Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.

If there are no parking restrictions and vehicles are parked in contravention of the rules of the Highway Code the matter can be reported to the police who have access to powers enabling them to identify vehicle owners and issue on the spot fines if necessary.

Parking outside your house

Homeowners or residents living next to public highways have no legal right to the road and/or footway fronting their property boundaries. If there are no parking restrictions and vehicles are parked in contravention of the rules of the Highway Code the matter can be reported to the police who have access to powers enabling them to identify vehicle owners and issue on the spot fines if necessary.

Grass verge parking

Grass verges can often become damaged because of parked vehicles, delivery vehicles or other similar reasons. We will where possible seek to put right damaged verges but generally remedial works are prioritised in accordance with the risk the problem poses to the public.

Blocking access / driveway

Vehicles causing an obstruction to access/driveways with a dropped kerb can be reported to our clear streets team or the police.

Parking on yellow lines

Double yellow lines are used to define the start and end of an area where parking is not prohibited at any time.

Single yellow lines are used to define the start and end of an area where parking is prohibited during certain times. These markings are accompanied by non-illuminated traffic signs which indicate what times parking is prohibited.

If vehicles are parked on double yellow lines they may be doing so in contravention of the traffic regulation order and they could receive a penalty charge notice.

Please note that blue badge holders are permitted to park on double yellow lines for a period of no more than 3 hours provided it is safe to do so.

Parking that blocks visibility

If there are no existing parking restrictions then there is very little we can do to respond positively to this problem. We would suggest that neighbour disputes associated with parking should be resolved though amicable or mediated discussions, but we do not have resources available to facilitate or accommodate these discussions.

If it is not possible to resolve the problem in this way, you could consider requesting that we implement a traffic regulation order (TRO) such as double yellow lines, but these schemes have to be firstly prioritised by the local county councillor over other similar community requests, they take a long time to introduce, they have a significant cost attached to them and; they must have the full support of the potentially affected community. 

If you live near a retail outlet, school, church or other local amenity which generates a lot of on-street non-resident parking, you may be eligible to apply for an access protection marking.

Lorry parking

The government conducted a comprehensive study undertaken in 2017 of the capacity and utilisation rates of overnight lorry parking facilities in England. Their report includes analysis of the welfare standards of formal facilities and of the extent of overnight parking in informal locations.

There are a number of locations in and around Staffordshire that provide dedicated parking areas for lorries (heavy commercial vehicles).

It is good practice for a local authority to ensure that suitable off-street HGV parking facilities are available in or near areas covered by an overnight ban - but it is not a legal requirement and it is often not provided.

It is illegal for lorries to park partially or wholly on the footway (pavement) and instances of this should be reported to the local police.

Lorries parked on yellow lines are potentially doing so in breach of the relevant traffic regulation order and risk receiving a fine.

 


 

Frequently asked questions

Answer:

Homeowners or residents living next to public highways have no legal right to the road and/or footway fronting their property boundaries. If there are no parking restrictions and vehicles are parked in contravention of the rules of the Highway Code the matter can be reported to the police who have access to powers enabling them to identify vehicle owners and issue on the spot fines if necessary.

Our clear streets team coordinates the civil enforcement resource in Staffordshire and further information on our enforcement responsibilities, and who you should contact if there is a problem; can be found on the parking enforcement section.

In the absence of any parking restrictions such as double yellow lines, there is very little we can do to prevent parking. If the parking is causing obstruction to private accesses, this should be reported to the police. If the parking is dangerous, this should also be reported to the police.

Answer:

Parking outside your home is not a legal entitlement unless you are within a permit parking scheme where road space is reserved for residents who hold valid permits. Unfortunately, if you live in a town centre or built up area, where parking is at a premium, people parking outside your property are not doing anything illegal unless they are doing so in contravention of an existing traffic regulation order such as double yellow lines or against the rules of the Highway Code.

We do not have a funding stream available to consider introducing parking bays.

If your road is privately owned it is up to the residents or owner to put in place and enforce their own parking restrictions, you can search for a road status on our road status map.

Answer:

Under the Highways Act 1980 it is an offence to obstruct the highway without permission from the local highway authority. We do not allow permission for cones to be placed on the highway by residents. Public highways are intended for the passing and repassing of traffic, and not for the private use of the residents.

For this reason we cannot agree to supply cones for residents to preserve parking areas but residents may wish to browse the information on our website regarding residents parking zones. These schemes require full support of the residents as there are bespoke fees for applying and then ongoing costs for the permits.

In the meantime, if non-resident parking is causing obstruction to private accesses, then this is a matter that the police can respond to by identifying vehicle owners and issuing on the spot fines if necessary.

Answer:

Please see our responsibilities to establish where you need to report the parking issue as we share responsibility with Staffordshire Police.

Answer:

Grass verges can often become damaged because of parked vehicles, delivery vehicles or other similar reasons. We will where possible seek to put right damaged verges but generally remedial works are prioritised in accordance with the risk the problem poses to the public.

Whilst we appreciate that such damage can be unsightly, it is very rarely the case that damaged verges pose any risk to pedestrians and therefore any restorative works are usually given a much lower category of priority. 

Driving over and parking on a grass verge often damages the verge which not only spoils the appearance of the street, but involves unnecessary additional expense to the council to repair the damage and maintain the verge.

Parking on verges can also obstruct pedestrians from using the footway and be hazardous to other road users, especially if vehicles obstruct entrances, or park on a bend or junction.

You can report issues with driving over and parking on grass verges via our online  Report It application. A highways inspector will look into the issue and establish if any preventive measures can be implemented, these issues can be classed as localised and therefore may be recommended to the local county councillor to add to their divisional highways programme for further consideration.

Answer:

The county council cannot legally prevent anyone from parking their vehicle on the public highway if there are no existing parking restrictions.

If there are no parking restrictions and vehicles are parked in contravention of the rules of the Highway Code the matter can be reported to the police who have access to powers enabling them to identify vehicle owners and issue on the spot fines if necessary.

Please see  our responsibilities to establish where you need to report the parking issue.

Answer:

If there are no existing parking restrictions then there is very little we can do to respond positively to this problem. We would suggest that neighbour disputes associated with parking should be resolved though amicable or mediated discussions, but we do not have resources available to facilitate or accommodate these discussions.

If it is not possible to resolve the problem in this way, you could consider requesting that we implement a traffic regulation order, such as double yellow lines, but these schemes have to be firstly prioritised by the local county councillor over other similar community requests. They take a long time to introduce, they have a significant cost attached to them and they must have a majority of support of the community.

If you live near a retail outlet, school, church or other local amenity which generates a lot of on-street non-resident parking, you may be eligible to  apply for an access protection marking.

Answer:

All enforceable parking restrictions will be accompanied by a traffic regulation order. This will be shown at the location with markings, for example, yellow lines and accompanying signs if required to show any specific times the enforcement is in place.

Please check the location. If there are no markings or signage, no restrictions are in place. If you have any further questions please  contact our Clear Streets team.

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