Private off street parking - when is it legal?

I nearly got a ticket for parking on a little private parking place (in front of our office building), parallel to the pavement. I’ve been parking there for the last 9 months and never had any problems. The guy was saying there needs to be a clear barrier between pavement and private space, such as a rail or chain.

I didn’t want to get into an argument about this and moved my bike, but what’s the legal outlook on this?

Nearly all roads are on land that has private owners. For example, I live o a 1930’s estate where the roads are almost certainly still owned by the developers who bought the land 75 years ago.

Parking on the public highway is dependent on the law as it relate to the highway - and it doesn’t matter who owns the land - what matters is that the highway runs from the centre of the road to the nearest barrier - fence, wall, chain, line of posts, ditch, hedge etc whether that lies immediatly alongside the road or some distance from it. What matters is whether people walking by would think of it as part of the road or footway. It is not unusual for people to get tickets for parking on their own property if is it not clearly marked out as seperate from the highway.

Without wanting to start an argument, I think it’s not as simple as that.

For instance, there are several places where there is a tiny (approx 2mm thick) copper strip embedded in the pavement running parallel to the roadway but splitting the width of (what appears to be) the pavement. The purpose of the strip is to mark out what is the pavement and what is private land and NOT part of the pavement. If you don’t look carefully, you don’t see the strip. There’s no barrier and nothing (other than the tiny strip set in the ground) to indicate to anyone that it’s private land.

If you look at a lot of the typical places (e.g. cellar skylights - if anyone goes to Infinity in Holborn, they have two outside their door) where bikes can park legally but appear to be on the pavement you will sometimes see a small notice pointing out that the area surrounded by the copper line does not form part of the highway (and therefore you can park there as long as you’ve got the permission of whoever owns the land).

BUT you then have to be careful as to how you get your bike into that non-highway space. Obviously you can’t ride over the pavement to get there. Perhaps the safe thing is to walk your bike over the pavement.

Good luck.

riding & driving on a pavement is perfectly legal if it’s to directly access private. Just think of a car turning into a driveway.

Yes but only where there is a cross over made in the pavement - these are normally ‘adopted’ by the local council. You can’t just bump up the kerb…

valid point, we deal with this problem all the time at work.

Thanks guys. Spoke to the council, they say as long as the pavement surface and private land surface looks different then it’s fine. I’m waiting to get this in writing from them and will park there again.

Do you pay extra for road maintenance? if not it is more than likley that the roads have been adopted by the council. If thats the case it up to them to police for parking taxes

Its not always a brass line in the pavement, some older buildings use a line of studs as well

There’s an old brick wall near my parents’ house with an engraved stone set into it which reads something like ‘the boundary of this property extends 3’4" beyond this perimeter wall’. It’s apparently been a legal issue for years!