LINING the pavements with bollards might be the only solution to stop drivers parking on them, a councillor has warned.

Pavement parking in Headington has been fiercely debated for the last couple of months – with residents, groups and councillors outraged by the fact that motorists are still getting away with it, despite the dangers.

However, some claim the rules are too harsh, and sometimes it might be safer to park on the cobbles.

Our reporter Fran Way went down to Headington to investigate - here's what she found:

Technically, Oxfordshire County Council can take legal action, if a driver is caught in the act. 

Their guidelines say: “If a person without lawful authority, or excuse, wilfully obstructs free passage along a highway, they are guilty of an offence.” 

OCC – the body behind responsible for parking on the county’s roads – have the legal powers to tow the car away. 

On its website, it adds: “It is an offence to obstruct a footpath. Please do not park on them even for a moment.” 

Roz Smith, the councillor for Headington, puts the problem down to a rise in parking costs. 
Headington Car Park and St Leonards Road car park now cost a minimum of £2, a raise of 47 per cent over the last year.

Last year, the government’s Department for Transport said it had considered rolling out a nationwide ban on pavement parking. 

As it is, pavement parking is not currently illegal in the UK outside of London but it is somewhat of a grey area due to the wording of the highway code. 

Under the rules of the road, motorists can still face a punishment for parking if they are causing a serious inconvenience. 

Rule 242 says: “You must not leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position of where it causes unnecessary obstruction.” 

Rule 244 adds: “You must not partially or wholly park on the pavement in London and should not do it elsewhere unless signs permit it.” 

A local business owner said he couldn’t stop the problem happening. 

He said: “What can I do? I can’t argue with customers, I’m going to lose business. What the council needs to do it paint ‘no parking’ on the pavement, or put bollards in.” 

And, that’s exactly what Mrs Smith is suggesting, adding that businesses should either apply to drop the kerb outside their shop – giving the thumbs up for vehicles to park outside – or, the council should put bollards in. Both come with a fee. 

In 2007, councillors in East Oxford were spotted leaving flyers on the windscreens of offending cars - READ THE STORY HERE - saying pavements are for people.