First thoughts on pavement parking

I’m often contacted about the issue of parking on pavement.

Surely it’s easy to stop pavement parking, isn’t it? You just don’t do it, as it’s against the law (and the Highway Code) and if you do, you can be given a ticket

Everyone seems  to think it’s illegal and against the law – I’m still trying to get my head round the problem, but this issue isn’t as simple as it seems to work out.

Let me try and explain.

Most parking and traffic issues are the direct responsibility of Devon Country Council acting as the highways authority.

In 1987, Exeter became one of the few places outside of London where parking on the pavement became illegal – under a by-law put forward by Exeter City Council known as the Exeter Act 1987. On all the outer borders of Exeter you’ll see a sign saying “No parking on footways, verges or central reserves”. This is a sign specific to Exeter and has to have special approval from the Secretary of State for Transport.

No Pavement Parking gateway sign on Barley Lane [although it is actually facing the wrong way!]
So the situation was that Exeter City Council had a by-law that Devon County Council had to implement as highways authority.

Parking enforcement used to be carried out by traffic wardens, working for Devon and Cornwall Police. In this respect they issued parking tickets for parking on pavements.

In May 2008, responsibility for parking enforcement passed to Devon County Council [DCC] and they put in place a system whereby Exeter City Council – through Civil Parking Enforcement Officers – issue PCN tickets for stationary vehicle offenses as an agent of DCC [phew!]

In the transfer, someone somewhere forgot the Exeter Act.

In trying to resolve the issue over the past few months, the Department for Transport [DfT] have become involved and said that to be able to enforce the by-law those signs with SofS approval need to be more frequent – suggesting 1 every 450m of so. The cost of this would run into hundreds of thousands.

So at present DCC are negotiating with DfT over this issue – and its seems are currently at stalemate

DCC through the Exeter HATOC {Highways and Traffic Order Committee] on which I sit as an ECC elected member alongside all 9 DCC County Councillors ares till trying to resolve this matter.

2 thoughts on “First thoughts on pavement parking

  1. This from a resident [in Alphington]:

    Thanks for your reply.

    I was lead to believe that Traffic Warden’s can book drivers who park on double yellow lines, & the police or PCSO can issue tickets (as they have in the past) for drivers obstructing pavements.

    From your comments I understand that I can park my car on a pavement in the city of Exeter and I will not receive a ticket until the issue of the Exeter Act is resolved is that correct?.

    As I have stated in the past my main concern is the access for emergency vehicles to Woodville Rd as it is a dead end road and by people parking on the corners access andvisibility are difficult if not possible.

    As of today I have still not had any contact with the local PCSO

    Look forward to hearing your response.


    1. And my reply:

      Yes that correct – Civil Enforcement Officers [[formerly known as Traffic wardens] can deal with double yellow line offenses and other parking transgressions, while police officers [including PCSO] can issue tickets for other matters, including obstruction and Highway Code offences such as ignoring rule 243 about jucntions.

      I forwarded the same update to the local PCSO and highlighted the problem about parking around the junctions – but I’ve no more influence than you [maybe the fact that I can put Cllr before my name means they might reply to me quicker?]

      I’ve not mentioned your name in particular to him [data protection issues] – but I’ve forwarded some of the other replies from Steve Carnell and the like to his superior officer.

      You can find out more about this team and how to contact them at:

      Best wishes



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s