Enforcement rules for parking on grass verges

Where there are no waiting restrictions on the road, enforcement can only be carried out by the Police, but they are only likely to take action if the parking is causing an obstruction, such as a situation where pedestrians, pram or wheelchair users are being forced into a busy road as a result of parking blocking the verge or pavement. Such cases should be reported to the police on the non-emergency phone number 101.

Parking on a pavement or verge next to a road where a waiting restriction applies could result in a driver being issued a parking ticket, just as if they were parked on the carriageway.

Illegal items placed on verges

Some residents may take their own measures to prevent parking (often plant-pot shaped concrete blocks, large rocks, timber posts etc). Although these can be aesthetically pleasing, it is an offence to place unlawful items on the public highway.

Under the Highways Act 1980, the public has the right to pass and repass over the full width of the highway (including roads, pavements and verges).

If unauthorised objects placed on verges are seen or reported we must act to request that the items are removed. Failing this, we can remove the items ourselves and usually at the home owner's expense.

What action can the council take?

When deciding what action to take, we must take several factors into account, such as costs, ongoing maintenance and whether the problem will just be diverted further down the road.

We have the authority to consider installing timber posts in verges. We will decide this on a case by case basis, depending on local factors such as funding and knowledge of the location. Verge protection measures can divert the parking problem onto another area. There is often little that can be done about this although care must be taken to ensure that any measures are fair.

Similarly, we may install concrete or steel bollards on pavements. However, costs and the wish to reduce clutter means they will usually only be installed as part of another larger scheme or at sites of major concern.

To install new bollards to protect a verge at a resident's request often requires the support of your local and county Councillor, and the resident outside whose house the bollards are proposed to be placed.

We may also plant trees on the verge to deter parking. Small, young trees (suitable for the public highway) are planted at the required spacing for the type of tree. However, overhead cables, nearby street lighting columns and other street furniture often prevent this. Parking on a verge where there is a tree may cause damage to the tree roots.

While we sometimes receive requests to convert grass verges to hard surfaces, we rarely adopt this practice as the cost of this is high and it has a negative environmental impact.