Parking on London Streets

This is a basic question. I have just bought my first bike in London and I’d like to get a grip with the Dos and Donts about parking in London. I ride in Bromley but obviously, I’d be going around all of London. For instance, I wonder if I am allowed to park for free on the streets or on pavements where I am not obstructing peds or traffic. Any map, or web page, or a doc that can help me avoid learning through fines?


Where you can park depends on the council, Westminster you need to park in bike bays, and it costs £1 a day.
Camden must be in bike bays, but free for now (they are trying to change this)

Here is a site with each council

unlike other EU countris you cant park on pavements

I’d say typically pavements is a no no.

That’s not to say you can’t do it but I wouldn’t leave my bike on pavement when I can’t watch over it for a day of work. But I have done it frequently when visiting a pub or sth similar. Been a while though since I was last in London on a bike

The time is also a variant. Parking on a pavement out of the way at night away from central London is much less risky to incur fine than parking during office ours in

The rumour used to be that you could cover your plate and wouldn’t get a fine but I think that’s a bit of an urban legend… Might work for any cameras but unlikely against a warden

you can’t park in pavements…in London. That is a local law and it is legal elsewhere in the UK - hence why you might see it in other places such as the seaside towns.

The other thing you sometimes see - is if people park on a pavement in London but it is actually a private bit of land. Sometimes these are like flues or lights next to a building. So don’t be tempted if you see a bike on the pavement as he probably knows where he can park but you park next to him, you still get a ticket.


yep was responding to the Q about parking on London Streets :stuck_out_tongue:

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@VerySlowRider are we in competition :rofl:


I mght name change to PainfullySlowRider :joy:

WobblyTopbox would be better. :grin:

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Sorry for the late reply. That’s because I am indeed slower than you.


I ride a BMW i am CAPTAIN SLOW!
I use an app called Bike Parking i dunno i it is updated or just disused but it has information on borough parking in it and sometimes shows me motorcycle bays…
Not all boroughs are the same be jolly careful they absolutely will ticket you in some places, that being said i usually find some where to stick it… usually chained to the nearest immovable object.

As others have said, it varies borough to borough and there are 32 of them, and Royal Parks have different rules, so you need to keep your wits about you.

Some allow free parking in Residents’ Bays, others don’t. Further complicated by some allowing residents’ bikes to park in Residents’ Bays for an annual fee (eg Camden) but you won’t know if you see a bike there because it is all online now. So for example in Camden don’t be tempted to park alongside because you see another bike, it might have an annual permit.

You have to know which borough you are travelling to and do your research first.

Information is hard to find. For example the Royal Parks allow free parking for up to two hours - although this is not signed anywhere, not on the roadside signage nor on the pay-and-display machine. I know this because I asked an enforcement officer. Of course that was some time ago and they might have changed their rules.

There was a time if you parked on private property, for example a strip of footway which clearly belongs to a shop, you would be okay (assuming the shopkeeper wasn’t upset) but they changed the rules a long time ago to mean if pedestrians have unencumbered access to that area normally, then you can’t park there. You will see some premises owners use bollards or temporary posts and ribbon to demarcate their demise, and prevent pedestrians having full access, for this reason. I discovered this to my cost many years ago and haven’t repeated that mistake.

The variation in rules across the Capital means you can’t always know what to do. I’m convinced it’s designed to confuse and catch people. Like bus lanes, some you can ride in, some you can’t, accept that you’ll make a mistake from time to time and will probably be caught at some point.

Endless rules and restrictions, excessive signage, we bring this upon ourselves (all.of society, not bikers) folks.

This is 100% urban legend. I did this once, the traffic warden then called the police to remove the cover and billed me for the pleasure, so I ended up with a fine from police and the traffic warden!

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I think it’s more that it will stop any cameras picking it up, that is if they haven’t picked it up while you were riding/parking up

I used to do it but mainly to buy me some time if a warden came by to move bike. If I was parked badly I always had eyes on the bike. As a smoker at the time I was mostly outside of pubs rather than in

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt Fixed Penalty Notice.

I’ve wondered if a braver soul than me could successfully challenge it on the basis motorbikes don’t have clocks. How is a biker supposed to know if the time is 15:58 or 16:00? You can’t see your wristwatch without pulling over (in the bus lane) and checking.

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That’s a really good argument. Not one that’ll stand for my bike as it does have a clock, but I’m certainly going to give it a try next time. I don’t think I’ve ever just paid a parking ticket first time I will always exercise my right to appeal even if I know I’m completely in the wrong. They must work for their fine! :joy:

I have a good friend whom I’ve known for many years. His adherence to the rules of the road leaves much to be desired and led to a few arguments between us.

His cavalier attitude collects parking tickets, ANPR speeding tickets, Congestion Charge tickets and several stops by the police. He religiously appeals every one of them, going to court on multiple occasions to defend himself. So far he has got off on every one of them.

It drives me mad. :laughing:

The irony is that if you did the same you’d pay for every single one of them.

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I’d wager he doesn’t queue at Eurotunnel either :joy: