Parking cars on pavements

What is the deal with Woodcombe Crescent? I cycled down it this morning and it’s madness. Cars driven onto pavements, and more cars rat running down the road. There are no ‘legal pavement parking’ signs like there are on Taymount Rise. There seems to be a tarmac strip which people have taken to mean they can drive on that part of the pavement (I’m sure this is illegal unless there’s some covenant that covers it which I can’t find online), but these days cars are so big and wide they’re encroaching onto the actual paved part too. With all the bins out this could force wheelchair users or mothers with prams onto the road, aside from having to dodge cars driving onto the pavement whilst parking. It’s also cracking the paving stones, which we all have to cough up council tax for to fix.

As for the insane rat running, a neighbour has a camera on Ewelme Rd which is capturing 2-3000+ vehicle movements a day(!) - I think if there was some parking enforcement on Woodcombe which forced cars to park half-on / half-off the road then it would narrow it to a single lane and dissuade through traffic.

Here are some pics showing where motorists have driven onto pavements, and also in one there are four cars coming up the road. They then go on up over Westwood Park and on to Peckham.


A few fines from Lewisham council parking wardens would soon stop the practice and raise much needed money for the council.


Which is precisely what has happened on Devonshire Road. Cars used to park semi on pavement and it was hard for pushchairs to get past. Now cars have to park in the road, or they get a ticket, but has it reduced rat running? Doubt it or not so you would notice. Now cars that are legally parked get scraped and tempers run high at rush hour when someone has to back down and reverse to let traffic past. And then the scooters and motorbikes mount the pavement too.

Another topic “Riding bikes on pavements” has created a thread now over 100 posts long and has substantively has become a thread debating the supremacy of cars on roads.

But this topic has fallen short of discussion. The pavement is the only safe space for pedestrians. Blocking the pavement particularly with cars creates an obstructive hazard particularly for those with mobility issues, with children and pushchairs and even is some cases pedestrians walking two abreast. I fail to understand how this is even allowed.

I’d be interested to hear from car owners on the matter.

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I assume it’s the residents parking there to avoid their cars getting scratched/hit.

On my regular walking route, Como road, cars are allowed to park on the tarmac side as there is a dashed line which I assume indicates this, but the pavement is just as narrow if not narrower than the space given for pedestrians on Woodcombe. Are you sure it’s not permitted?

What is a danger to pedestrians I frequently see and is really annoying is parking over dropped kerbs and double yellow lines at junctions, forcing those blind and partially sighted and in wheelchairs to cross where it is unsafe/extremely difficult to do so. In the Perry Vale area the staff and customers of the cafe on the corner of Siddons road are terrible for this, but there is no enforcement it seems, and I’ve given up going on and asking them to move!

Would that be "that" car?

On Como Road, the areas where pavement parking is allowed are marked with white dashed lines and a parking sign (blue, letter P with a car shown mounted on the pavement) on some of the lampposts. In the absence of such indications on any other roads, I would assume that pavement parking isn’t allowed.

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I have a lot of sympathy for the residents who do not have driveways, who park on wide pavements like Woodcombe Crescent when it is used by so many motorists as a shortcut. As well as cars parked on the pavement the photo shows a bike parking place on the same pavement taking up the space of a car. I’ve got no problem with the position of the bikes or the cars in this case but by allowing the bike parking on the pavement, it is recognising that parking takes priority over pedestrians on this part of the pavement.


It would indeed! Although increasingly I’ve noticed their customers doing this now too. I’m glad the business is doing well but I’ve watched families with an older child a wheelchair struggling out into the main road, and a partially sighted women needing to be helped across the road when she should have the freedom to cross independently.

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The proprietors of the Journey Cafe (Kirkdale’s Woodman pub as was) are especially bad at blocking the pavement. Despite having no front pavement curtilage (the pub had a back garden, which the owner - an estate agent - built over) the proprietors built platforms for tables on the pavement, put out A boards and used the Forest Hill Assembly funded planter as an ashtray (to be fair, I don’t know if they still do the latter since a kind neighbour took the trouble to repeatedly clean it out).

After many years of residents campaigning requests for bollards being rebuffed by the Council, Leo kindly pursued this and bollards were installed in an attempt to stop pavement parking. Sadly the Journey Cafe people just drive between them.

The most blatant “it’s all about me” instance though is that someone painted over the double yellow lines on Halifax Street with black paint.

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That is awful. Let’s not forget except where express permission is given it is already illegal in London to park on the pavement.

Even where it is there are issues. As noted it is allowed to park two wheels up on the pavement on Taymount Rise but in my view it comes at an unacceptable cost. It damages the pavements, it creates a crowded and dangerous road and encourages drivers to park on pavements all up the road blocking entrances and making life unpleasant for pedestrians, paticularly those with mobility issues.

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It’s also got a (deliberately) noisy exhaust which can often be heard early and late as it commutes between Catford Hill.

I’ve not seen it park on the pavement however…

I see how you can infer that, but the bike parking is a planned piece of infrastructure. By the same analogy you could say there’s an electrical cabinet on the pavement so I can park there. But I could be accused of making a straw man argument so…

…and as far as I’m aware the installation of a secure bike parking facility does not constitute ‘express permission’ to park a car next to it. It’s a blue sign with a picture of a car half up on a pavement. I’m not aware there’s one for ‘park your whole car on the pavement’. You changed the topic from ‘Driving’ to ‘Parking’ and whilst the cars spend most of their life parked, they do need to drive onto and off the pavement to get there. I think it should be as much of an issue as bikes on pavements. They do move, occasionally.

Also note that the bike storage takes up as much space as one car but probably stores upto 10 bikes.

It doesn’t need to - it’s painted in hi-viz :slight_smile:

I have no issue at all with council supplied bike pods being on the pavement where there is room. It is a good idea.

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Taymount Rise just now. I suppose we should be grateful they aren’t on the pavement. :roll_eyes:


Some car drivers just can’t win. Obviously a conscious driver whose been on the forum recently and taken note of the problems caused by parking on pavements but is also in tune with the needs of cyclists, including those who like cycling on pavements…top marks that man👍




I was thinking it was actually the other way round. Usually cycle racks are built in parking spaces - not usually on the pavement. On this road the cycle racks were placed in a parking space - on the pavement - recognising, if not formally approving, the accepted parking on this road. The cars made it possible to have cycle parking on this road!

But some pavement parking is much less acceptable:

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Ok I see your point.

Also, putting anything on the road would cause a bottleneck and discourage through traffic. Clearly safer to park bikes on the pavement.

Incidentally I found a ‘park on the pavement’ sign. They do exist, just not on Woodcombe: here’s one on Kirkdale

Safer for whom? Safer for those with mobility issues, those pushing prams, the sight impaired? Our pavements need a general clearing of all street clutter and routes need to be kept clear and safe, and pavements repaired and level. Won’t happen though, some opportunist will plonk some obstruction on any space created.