Is a Residential Car Park a Public Road?

As a leading residential car park specialist, Countrywide Parking Management works extensively across the UK to maintain residential car parks and enforce parking rules. Residential parking can take many different forms, oftentimes bringing with it confusion about what is considered public or private land and what the laws pertaining to each entail.

If you’re confused about what a residential car park is and the laws surrounding them, keep reading.

What is a residential car park?

Firstly, let’s clear up what a residential car park actually is. Generally speaking, residential parking is designated by a local authority and grants residents who live in a property without a driveway the right to park on the street. Residential parking is extremely common on older streets lined with terraced houses, though competition for a parking spot can be fierce.
To help make things fairer, many local authorities issue an allocated number of permits per property, and some employ parking enforcement officers to ensure non-residents do not take up the limited number of spaces available.

A residential car park differs slightly from traditional residential parking in the sense that it does not involve parking on the street, but rather in a car park. It is more common for residential car parks to be attached to blocks of flats, but there can be car parks behind rows of houses – land permitting.

Is a residential car park a public road?

There are a number of driving laws that are enforceable across different types of land, including car parks and roads, but they do differ based on whether or not the land is public or private. Most residential car parks are private property and are managed by private companies, whilst roads can be both public and private.

According to the Highway Code, “references to ‘road’ therefore generally include footpaths, bridleways and cycle tracks, and many roadways and driveways on private land (including many car parks). In most cases, the law will apply to them and there may be additional rules for particular paths or ways.”

This means residential car parks may be classified as roads under UK law, but they may not be public roads. Public roads are maintained by local authorities and are for the use of the general public. Residential car parks are generally not maintained by local authorities are not for public use, either. Residents typically need permission to park there and are allocated a parking space – the public do not have any permissions to park in a residential car park of their own free will. In short, a residential car park is not a public road.

Residential car park penalties

The benefit of a residential car park is that because they tend to be private land, there are more options available in order to combat nuisance parking. Here at Countrywide Parking Management, we routinely manage residential car parks and are equipped to deal with nuisance parking in all its forms.

We are experts in diffusing parking situations before any further tension mounts, including monitoring parking by non-residents, parking that causes obstructions, and monitoring tenants with multiple vehicles. We can deploy both physical and virtual permits, as well as installing appropriate warning signs around the car park.

We are monitored by the IPC and always operate in the full capacity of the law. This means we won’t clamp vehicles or prevent them from leaving the premises as this is illegal, but – in the most serious situations – we can issue a parking charge notice (PCN) which requires the owner of the offending vehicle to pay a charge as a result of their unauthorised parking.
Why is residential car park management important?

There are multiple reasons why it’s beneficial for you to employ a parking enforcement agency, like Countrywide Parking Management, to monitor and maintain your residential car park.

Firstly, residential car parking appears to be in short supply in the UK. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that when many older properties were built – especially terraced houses – there were far fewer cars on the roads. Over time, society has progressed from only the wealthiest households having cars to almost every adult within a household owning one.

It’s increasingly more expensive to own a house, meaning people are living in their parent’s houses for longer. Suppose a household has two parents and three grown children, there’s a very real possibility that there could be five cars in that household. In terraced houses or blocks of flats, this poses a parking shortage.

Pair the increased levels of car ownership with the number of people looking to avoid paying for parking, and it’s easy to see how residential car parks can be abused. This often causes tension amongst neighbours, and arguments can quickly break out. Countrywide Parking Management can reduce the chances of an argument breaking out by enforcing strict and fair parking rules.

This takes the onus away from individual residents and monitors the situation in a professional and unbiased capacity.
Learn more about residential parking management

If you would like to find out more about residential parking management from Countrywide Parking, please get in touch with us to organise a site survey and your requirements.

I3 Media