When you need to park the car in a hurry, it can often be tricky to know if you can leave it on the side of the pavement.

You might need to dash out of your vehicle to take the kids to school or run into the corner shop for emergency road trip snacks.

For when you need to next park on the pavement, there are some things which might be useful to know such as if it’s illegal and if you can be fined for doing so.

Is it illegal to park on the pavement in the North East?

According to Northumbria Police, a vehicle may partially park on the pavement to avoid a road obstruction so long as this does not cause an obstruction on the footpath for a pedestrian.

Access for a pushchair or wheelchair must be possible on the footpath.

If access for pedestrians is not possible and they are forced to enter the road to pass by, this vehicle is causing an obstruction.

If there are any parking restrictions already in place in the area, such as double yellow lines, permit only parking or other parking signage, report this to the local council who will attend and enforce the restrictions.

If no other such restrictions are in place, contact the police with the vehicle colour, make model, vehicle registration and location.

Can you be fined for parking on a pavement in the North East?

On the Local Government Agency website, it states: “Councils have a free hand to impose fines on drivers for parking on pavements, providing they employ signs pointing out any restrictions.

“These often go hand in hand with other parking restrictions, including yellow and red lines, and Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ), which often restrict parking to permit holders, often local residents.”

Parking restrictions can be put in place for a number of reasons, such as making sure pedestrians, especially those who are wheelchair users and parents and carers with prams do not need to move into the road if a vehicle is blocking the path.

Fines for pavement parking can differ, depending on if the police or the council has issued them.

But if you come back from a day out or a meal around the corner from your stationary car, you could find a yellow plastic notice attached to your windscreen if parked in the wrong place, including:

  • A Fixed Penalty Notice, which can be issued by the police, local council or the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, charging you £50 or more
  • A local council-issued Penalty Charge Notice, typically from £50 to £130

What's the difference between a penalty charge and a fixed penalty notice?

Northumbria Police says: "A Penalty Charge Notice is issued by your local council, usually by a civil enforcement officer and can be for parking, breaking traffic rules, for example driving down a bus lane.

"A FPN can be issued by the police, local council or Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). The main difference is that Fixed Penalty Notices are often followed up with criminal prosecution if the penalty is not paid."