Parking on grass verges

As car ownership has increased, so has the problem of parking on grass verges. Grass verges can enhance the look of streets, help drain surface water and provide a useful location beneath which to locate underground services. Parking can reduce the verge to an unsightly state, and can also obstruct the highway, preventing pedestrians and wheel chair users from accessing roads and footways if there is no other pathway. Verge parking can also cause a hazard to other motorists especially if the vehicle is parked on a bend, narrow road or junction and could prevent emergency vehicles from attending an incident.

What we can do

Traffic regulation orders

Double yellow lines, school keep clear markings and other road markings can be provided to deter motorists from parking on grass verges. They prohibit rather than prevent parking on verges. These restrictions do require the implementation of Traffic Regulation Orders which need public consultation and installation of signing/lining. This process can take many months and be costly.

Install bollards or posts

Installing bollards or posts to physically prevent parking on verges will only work if they are respected. To be effective, many bollards may need to be erected to fully enclose the area of concern. As such visual impact is high as are installation and maintenance costs. Solutions involving bollards and posts will normally only be considered where there is an identified safety issue or widespread and persistent problems are evident.

Convert the grass to a hard surface

It is practical in some cases to convert the grass verge to a hardstanding surface such as tarmac, concrete or grasscrete blocks and allow parking in the area. This option must be balanced against the increased risk of flooding due to surface water run-off, the high costs of installation, potential road safety concerns and the visual impact on the street scene.

How we decide when to take action

The following criteria will be assessed:

  1. Whether all Ward Councillors support the introduction of measures to address verge parking issues at the proposed location
  2. Whether the cause of the verge parking has been ascertained, identifying to the council if parking should be prohibited or provided
  3. Whether there is clear evidence to the Council that verge parking is affecting the safety of pedestrians
  4. Whether there is extensive physical damage to the footway or verge making it difficult to maintain and impacting on the amenity of the local area/street
  5. Whether there is damage to services, such as buried pipelines in the verge
  6. Whether there is a recommendation from the Police, Fire or Ambulance Service that the street be subject to unlawful verge parking enforcement

How we prioritise the implementation of grass verge parking prevention

The following criteria will be considered:

  • The level of risk to highway users and whether there has been a recommendation by any of the emergency services
  • If there is adequate alternative parking available nearby (either on or off street) there must not be a worse problem caused by the displaced parking
  • Roads which are bus routes or busy roads will be given higher priority
  • The actual cost of the proposed solution