We’ve all been there, when you can’t get into the last space because of someone’s poor parking, or the pavement isn’t big enough for a pushchair or a wheelchair to get through because someone’s parked outside the takeaway to pick up their order.

Frustrating? Yes.

Illegal? Not necessarily…

We receive over 15,000 calls each year related to parking but a huge 60% of these are not matters for the police. In fact, in most areas of the Thames Valley, illegal parking is enforced by the local councils.

So, do you know when parking is illegal and when it’s just inconsiderate?

Parking should be reported to police when a vehicle is parked:

  • on zig zag lines or a pedestrian crossing,
  • in a way that would prevent emergency vehicles from access,
  • dangerously.

Parking is illegal and should be reported to your local council when a vehicle is parked:

  • opposite or within ten metres of a junction,
  • over a dropped kerb,
  • in spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders, residents or motorbikes (unless entitled to do so),
  • in marked taxi bays, cycle lanes or red lines,
  • near a school entrance, bus or tram stop,
  • on double yellow lines.

If the parking does not fall within those parameters, then it is classed as inconsiderate and is a civil matter and is for you to arrange with neighbours or your management company, or failing that, speak to your local council.

If a vehicle is parked on the kerb, these incidents are dealt with on a case by case basis. On some streets, parking on the kerb is unavoidable and so neither the police nor the council would intervene. In some cases, parking on the kerb could restrict access for those who are vulnerable or who have disabilities and so we would attend.

If someone parks on your driveway without your permission, this is trespassing and is a civil dispute so does not need to be reported to the police or the council. If a polite word with the driver does not resolve the situation, you may wish to seek advice from Citizen’s Advice or a solicitor.

If a parking space is available on a public road, even if it’s directly outside your house, anyone is allowed to park there. This can be frustrating, especially if spaces are hard to come by on your street, but it is not a matter for the police or the council.

Take a look at our Think Before You Dial page for more information on the best way to get in touch with the police.

Who enforces illegal parking in your area?

  • Aylesbury Vale: Buckinghamshire Council,
  • Bracknell: Bracknell Forest Borough Council,
  • Cherwell: Thames Valley Police,
  • Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire: Buckinghamshire Council,
  • Milton Keynes: Milton Keynes Council,
  • Oxford: Oxfordshire County Council,
  • Reading: Reading Borough Council,
  • South Oxfordshire and Vale of the White Horse: Thames Valley Police,
  • Slough: Slough Borough Council,
  • West Berkshire: West Berkshire District Council,
  • West Oxfordshire: West Oxfordshire District Council,
  • Windsor and Maidenhead: Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead,
  • Wokingham: Wokingham Borough Council,
  • Wycombe: Buckinghamshire Council.