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Parking Near Private Driveway: What is the Law?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 17 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Parking Near Private Driveway: What Is The Law?

Q.

I would like to know if there is a legal limit to how close you can park next to a driveway? I have issues with my neighbours parking partially over and completely blocking my driveway, which restricts exit and entrance. I also have a tree to contend with and a busy road. I have come to the end of my tether but don't want to upset anyone (unlike my neighbours!)

(H.H, 20 July 2009)

A.

Parking over and blocking a driveway belonging to someone else is one of the most common reasons that people end up falling out with their neighbours. It's rude, discourteous and can cause a whole lot of problems, especially if access to the driveway is completely blocked in either direction.

When faced with this situation, many homeowners try to fight fire with fire and come out brandishing a copy of the Highway Code which in paragraph 243 requests that motorists "DO NOT PARK in front of an entrance to a property".

However, if they take things further and report the offender to the police - it often comes as a big surprise to find out that it isn't actually illegal for a motorist to park in front of a private driveway, despite what you think the Highway Code is saying. The important thing to pay attention to is the language used in the rulings. If 'Do not' is used, then this is advisory and should be followed - but there is no legal comeback if a motorist chooses to ignore it. However, if the rule states 'Must not' then this is a legal requirement and the driver must therefore obey it or if caught or reported, face legal action.

So, ultimately, this is down to a question of courtesy and respect between you and your neighbours. If you do suffer from a repeat offender who insists on blocking your driveway then do be careful. As you are not backed up by law, the best thing you can do is to approach them calmly and try to sort out the situation amicably. If they aren't interested, or continue to ignore you and park in front of your property, blocking your access, then unfortunately the only thing you can do to ensure that you have full access to your drive is to park somewhere else - perhaps, if you're a fan of irony and you can get there first, even in front of your own driveway. If you do this often enough they'll probably get bored and give up.

It does seem incredibly unfair that someone can do this when you have forked out for a home with somewhere safe to park your car off the road - and if you are blocked ONTO your drive, then you might find a kind police officer who will make enquiries for you, contact the owner and ask them to move their vehicle. However the police are not bound to act as according to the Highway Code every driver has a right to park anywhere on a public highway except those places which are expressly forbidden.

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Sparky - Your Question:
I live in an area with a private drive off the main road. The driveway is owned and maintained by 4 dwellings each owning a quarter share. There is a caveat on all our 4 houses' deeds which allows access to one dwelling on land at the top of this driveway. The land and dwelling which our deeds allow access to has now been sold for the building of 5 new dwellings with the only access being via our driveway. How can this be allowed please, since most of the driveway's owners do not want to allow access, which is in contravention of our deeds?

Our Response:
You may have to take legal action over this. There are a various options including having the road adopted or making the developer responsible for the access road etc. See professional legal advice.
SaferMotoring - 19-Feb-18 @ 3:46 PM
KB - Your Question:
My neighbour has a dropped kerb outside his house but a front garden with a wall, so cannot use his drive for a car. He has suddenly told us we cannot park outside his house anymore as he wants to park there? Is this legally enforceable? Thanks in advance.

Our Response:
No, if there is a garden wall in place and not a driveway, it would be unusual to use any locally imposed restrictions on parking across a dropped kerb/driveway.
SaferMotoring - 19-Feb-18 @ 3:38 PM
I live in an area with a private drive off the main road. The driveway is owned and maintained by 4 dwellings each owning a quarter share. There is a caveat on all our 4 houses' deeds which allows access to one dwelling on land at the top of this driveway. The land and dwelling which our deeds allow access to has now been sold for the building of 5 new dwellings with the only access being via our driveway. How can this be allowed please, since most of the driveway's owners do not want to allow access, which is in contravention of our deeds?
Sparky - 17-Feb-18 @ 4:35 PM
My neighbour has a dropped kerb outside his house but a front garden with a wall, so cannot use his drive for a car. He has suddenly told us we cannot park outside his house anymore as he wants to park there? Is this legally enforceable? Thanks in advance.
KB - 17-Feb-18 @ 9:59 AM
Nick - Your Question:
What distance needs to be between a vehicle and a driveway on the opposite side of the road?

Our Response:
There are no specifications relating to this as far as we know.
SaferMotoring - 16-Feb-18 @ 11:49 AM
Steve - Your Question:
I live in a condominium and have an exclusive use driveway which is for one car. If I can manage to squeeze 2 cars side by side, is there a law preventing me to do so. Can you provide some traffic acts/rules in this regard.Going through the stories where access to ones property can be denied by someone parking on the road in front of your property driveway, has anyone tried getting this traffic law altered as it does not make any sense. What if there is an emergency in the house and a car is blocking the entrance, are the emergency team supposed to walk with all their gear to get the house instead having the closest access to the emergency which could be the residents driveway ? Waiting for someone to die before we get this ridiculous traffic act changed ? We pay property tax so that we have no say whether we can enter our own property ? sad :(

Our Response:
If it's a private driveway on your own property you can do as you like. If you live in apartments, there will usually be rules/conditions relating to access etc.
SaferMotoring - 16-Feb-18 @ 10:58 AM
What distance needs to be between a vehicle and a driveway on the opposite side of the road?
Nick - 14-Feb-18 @ 11:20 AM
I live in a condominium and havean exclusive use driveway which is for one car. If I can manage to squeeze 2 cars side by side, is there a law preventing me to do so. Can you provide some traffic acts/rules in this regard. Going through the stories where access to ones property can be denied by someone parking on the road in front of your property driveway, has anyone tried getting this traffic law altered as it does not make any sense. What if there is an emergency in the house and a car is blocking the entrance, are the emergency team supposed to walk with all their gear to get the house instead having the closest access to the emergency which could be the residents driveway ? Waiting for someone to die before we get this ridiculous traffic act changed ?. We pay property tax so that we have no say whether we can enter our own property ? sad :(
Steve - 13-Feb-18 @ 9:47 PM
Curious- Your Question:
I understand that blocking a private drive is only illegal if the owner cannot leave their property, not if they can’t return home, is that correct?

Our Response:
Not necessarily. In some special enforcement areas, it is just illegal to park across a driveway.
SaferMotoring - 7-Feb-18 @ 2:36 PM
I understand that blocking a private drive is only illegal if the owner cannot leave their property, not if they can’t return home, is that correct?
Curious - 6-Feb-18 @ 6:48 PM
Tess - Your Question:
Hi I'm desperately want to know what can I do with traffic forever blocking my driveway weekends due to tavern next to me(neighbours) I'm stressed out and they are ignoring me, when ever I need to get to my home I have to wait and everytime get upset. Please hear my cry! I fear weekends cos its the same all the time. Thanks in advace

Our Response:
Blocking a driveway is illegal in some parts of the country (special enforecement areas). Please contact your local authortiy to see whether this is in place in your area. If so, the local enforcement agency will be able to act.
SaferMotoring - 5-Feb-18 @ 10:49 AM
Hi I'm desperately want to know what can I do with traffic forever blocking my driveway weekends due to tavern next to me(neighbours) I'm stressed out and they are ignoring me, when ever I need to get to my home I have to wait and everytime get upset. Please hear my cry!I fear weekends cos its the same all the time. Thanks in advace
Tess - 2-Feb-18 @ 12:28 PM
Snuggly - Your Question:
Yes there is a law contravention code 27 states no part of a dropped kerb can be parked over.

Our Response:
Please note contravention code 27 is only enforceable within a Special Enforcement Area (SPA). So you will need to check if your area is designated as such in order to use this.
SaferMotoring - 30-Jan-18 @ 11:38 AM
Yes there is a law contravention code 27 states no part of a dropped kerb can be parked over.
Snuggly - 28-Jan-18 @ 7:22 PM
Al - Your Question:
My partner and I recently bought our first property together. The property is a flat but came with a parking space which, is highlighted by our land registry certificate as being ours. The parking space is one of two, ours being 1b and the other 1a. A silver car keeps parking on which ever of those spaces is free and the car does not belong to either myself or our lovely neighbours flat 1a. I've left a polite note but they continue to park on it meaning that, we are having to share one parking space with flat 1a despite both properties legally owning one space each. Where do I stand with this when I legally own the piece of land (parking space) they're parking on?

Our Response:
Do you have a management company etc which oversees the flats? They may be able to help. It's unlikley the police will do much as it's a trespass issue which you may have to pursue via the legal system. Have you tried place traffic/no parking cones in the space? Could you arrange for pop up lockable post to be put in place etc?
SaferMotoring - 16-Jan-18 @ 3:07 PM
My partner and I recently bought our first property together. The property is a flat but came with a parking space which, is highlighted by our land registry certificate as being ours. The parking space is one of two, ours being 1b and the other 1a. A silver car keeps parking on which ever of those spaces is free and the car does not belong to either myself or our lovely neighbours flat 1a. I've left a polite note but they continue to park on it meaning that, we are having to share one parking space with flat 1a despite both properties legally owning one space each. Where do I stand with this when I legally own the piece of land (parking space) they're parking on?
Al - 14-Jan-18 @ 12:41 AM
TOFFI - Your Question:
Hello I have a neighbour who parks on the opposite side of the road opposite my drive. As the road is so narrow this means I struggle to get on and off my drive and has also blocked the bus which goes past my house on route. Is there anything I can do?

Our Response:
There's not much you can do about the struggle to exit your drive, but if a bus is unable to pass, the police will be able to take action.
SaferMotoring - 12-Jan-18 @ 3:11 PM
Hello I have a neighbour who parks on the opposite side of the road opposite my drive. As the road is so narrow this means I struggle to get on and off my drive and has also blocked the bus which goes past my house on route... Is there anything I can do?
TOFFI - 10-Jan-18 @ 8:19 PM
Kaz - Your Question:
Hi, I’m after some advice please, Ive got a drive way and recently someone who doesn’t live on my street has started parking just off it, when I’m pulling off I can’t see properly as it’s a van he has he’s refusing to move which has resulted in an argument where do I stand please ?

Our Response:
If your drive is not actually being blocked, there isn't much you can do about this unfortunately. If you live on a busy road, the police might take a look if it's a real hazard when you pull out.
SaferMotoring - 10-Jan-18 @ 3:40 PM
Hi, I’m after some advice please, Ive got a drive way and recently someone who doesn’t live on my street has started parking just off it, when I’m pulling off I can’t see properly as it’s a van he has he’s refusing to move which has resulted in an argument where do I stand please ?
Kaz - 9-Jan-18 @ 10:00 PM
my neighbour and i both paid the council as others did, to paint a white line across the end of our shard drive way, can anyone park on these lines,sometimes cars park on this line blocking the drive, is it against the law?
bill - 4-Jan-18 @ 10:36 AM
A car blocked my drive and after 12 hours I called the police on 101. To my surprise they attended within 10 minutes with a patrol car including two officers and a police van with one officer. They police knocked on neighbours doors. I'd already checked a few but nobody knew the car. Then, coincidentally the culprits mate's mother arrives and says she'll get the car moved. No apologies mind. The police said they'd impound the vehicle if it was not moved and fine the driver for recovery. So the police can deal with this problem really well. To be honest I was a bit disappointed that the woman got the guy to move the car. It would have taught him a lesson if they'd towed his car away.
Eclmam - 30-Dec-17 @ 11:49 PM
I recently parked about six inchs over my neighbours clear driveway to be met with abuse about blocking his driveway . How do i stand legally with this
Oh god - 29-Dec-17 @ 1:36 PM
This is the way the highway act 1980 is used Rule 243: DO NOT Stop, Park, or Abandon a Vehicle Near to the entrance of a school. Anywhere that would prevent access for the Emergency Services. Near to the brow of a hill or on a hump bridge. Where you might force other traffic to enter a tram lane. In front of an entrance to someone else's property. On a road bend. Where you would obstruct the use of cycle facilities used by cyclists. Near to bus stops and no stopping at a bus stop, tram stop, or a taxi rank. Opposite a road junction or within 10 meters (32 ft) near junctions (except in authorized spaces). On the approach to a level crossing or a tramway crossing. Opposite a traffic island or another parked vehicle if it causes an obstruction. Anywhere the kerb got lowered. This is usually done to assist powered mobility vehicles and wheelchair users.
julian - 6-Dec-17 @ 9:58 AM
I have a neighbour who lives in a block of 4 small one bed houses in our cul de sac. The houses do not have a drive unlike the others so they use the off street parking in front. Let me explain first, there is the off street parking, which comprises of the road, then curb, and public path before walking up to property. She has taken it on herself to have her front dug up and monoblocked, also dropping the kerb so to enable her to access her new drive. My question is...Legally can she claim the off street parking area as hers to access her drive?
nutter - 24-Nov-17 @ 3:48 PM
saif - Your Question:
Above article is wrong if you blocked in or out call the traffic wardens or police and they will ticket the car.

Our Response:
No it's not wrong - they won't always ticket if you are blocked from entering (they're too busy to respond to all of these anyway). They will respond if you can't exit your driveway. Note that not areas are "special enforcement areas" where it is illegal to park across a driveway either.
SaferMotoring - 10-Nov-17 @ 11:09 AM
above article is wrong if you blocked in or out call the traffic wardens or police and they will ticket the car.
saif - 8-Nov-17 @ 1:27 AM
Rori - Your Question:
My neighbour to my left has put a drive in I park to the right if drive in front of my house I am at least 5' away from the entrance of the drive however the neighbour across the street and directly opposite parks two cars my neighbour has called police because they cant come out of there drive and turn left (because of neighbours cars opposite) but they said I was the one causing the obstruction as they could not swing round my car to get out on the right (the car opposite was the one causing the problem) but I am getting all the hassle.am I in the wrong?

Our Response:
Did the police do anything? We think it's unlikely the police will act unless you are directly blocking an access. If someone has already parked across the road, it's pretty inconsiderate of you to park directly opposite though.
SaferMotoring - 31-Oct-17 @ 11:03 AM
My neighbour to my left has put a drive in i park to the right if drive in front of my house i am at least5' away from the entrance of the drive however the neighbour across the street and directly opposite parks two cars my neighbour has called police because they cant come out of there drive and turn left (because of neighbours cars opposite) but they said i was the one causing the obstruction as they could not swing round my car to get out on the right (the car oppositewas the one causing the problem) but i am getting all the hassle ....am i in the wrong?
Rori - 28-Oct-17 @ 12:04 PM
I live in a very narrow Lane where you can only park on one side of the street we live on the opposite side and on our side of the street the houses including ours have driveways where as the the other side do not one neighbour who parks just close enough to not give us access to the driveway so we have to park across even though their is plenty of room for him to park down the street but then complains to us that we should use our driveway and complains that we park in frount of his entrance way which is directly infrount of the driveway then he puts a post up on Facebook using horrible language calling us out on this so we reply nicely telling him we can't even get into the driveway because he chooses to park right at the driveway then he starts to message my 17 year old daughter disgusting things so we go to the police and they tell us it's our right if they won't let us in the drive way we have a right to park infrount of the drive and told us to charge the neighbor because he came banging at the door and slamming our gate that intimidated our daughter but we choose not to because we didn't waunt her to go to court and miss school so they assured us that if he steps out of line one more time he will be charged but the council won't seem to double line the street but theirs only 5 cars on the street without driveways and the streets so narrow that and ambulance or fire engine could not fit down the street and their plenty of space up the street to park but they choose to park super close to us it's anoying because it's and every day occurrence and he even drives Backwards up the street really fast and becaus it's so narrow they have to drive on the pavement to go up and down the street and it's directly infrount of our gate the man refuses to listen even today he has stated doing it despite a police warning so it's ethier the council double line it or it's just going to get worse.
Kathy - 20-Oct-17 @ 4:07 AM
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