When looking to secure and protect your area, it can be tricky to know where you can and can’t place a bollard. Some spaces may need planning permission while other spaces simply cannot be installed correctly on certain surfaces.
But what about grass verges? Could it be considered illegal to place your bollard here?
In this guide, we’ll be discussing the laws and regulations surrounding your bollard placement on a grass verge to hopefully give you some more insight.
What is a grass verge?
Grass verges are long sections of grass that can be found on pavements next to the road and the concrete pathway people walk on. For safety purposes, the grass verges are trimmed and well-maintained so that both drivers and pedestrians can have full visibility of the area.
Grassy verges are a common feature of many towns, cities and rural areas, playing an important role in ensuring our roads are fit for purpose. Not only do they serve as a clear physical boundary between busy roads and pedestrians to keep people safe while walking around, grass verges also provide spaces for planting colourful flowers, shrubs and trees.
The legalities of putting bollards on grass verges
Whilst it might be incredibly irritating when people park on the grass verge outside your home or place of work, don’t automatically assume that you’re allowed to take things into your own hands and put measures in place to prevent them from doing so.
If the grass verge isn’t on your property or on an area of land that you own, you’ll need to receive permission from the land’s owner or your local authority before installing barriers, bollards, street furniture or even trees as a way of stopping vehicles from parking there. Regardless of whether you think that these fixtures are aesthetically pleasing or provide added functionality to the verge itself, if it’s public land, you’ll need to get permission.
So, whilst the Highways Act of 1980 doesn’t explicitly mention bollards, but it does say that it is unlawful for residents to take matters into their own hands by installing any physical barrier or obstacle onto a grass verge. Think about it this way; placing a bollard, barrier or bench on an area of public land might not be in the best interests of every road user, as they may prevent drivers from stopping in the event of an emergency or breakdown.
If unlawful items are on the verge outside your property, you will be asked to remove them by your local council. Failing to heed this warning will result in your items being removed by the council.
What does the law say about parking on verges?
Don’t worry, this isn’t the end of the story! Just because it might not be legal for you to install bollards on a grass verge outside your home or business, it’s likely that the same restrictions will also apply to drivers who are tempted to park up and leave their vehicles unattended.
Some of the reasons the government prohibits parking on grass verges are:
- It can obstruct the path of those who have sight and mobility difficulties and children in prams.
- It can cause damage to the grass and make verges unsightly.
- It can obstruct roads, especially when the vehicle is parked on a narrow road or bend. This can pose risks for other drivers.
- It can cause damage to pavements that are designed to carry the weight of pedestrians, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters.
While the Highways Act affects residents using parking blocking, it also affects motorists that park on verges. This is due to the fact that a parked car also blocks a section of the highway. Therefore, the law states that no one has the legal right to park on a verge, road, or footway path of any kind.
Waiting restrictions apply to the entirety of a public highway. This means that even if you aren't parked on a double yellow line but are parked on the verge adjacent to one, you will receive a parking ticket.
If a motorist is caught parking on a verge or blocking the road, you can report them using the non-emergency phone number, 101.
What you can do if people park on your verge
If you are having trouble with people parking repeatedly on your grass verge, then there are a couple of things you can do to help prevent it from happening.
Ask them to stop!
If you notice that there is a repeat offender who is using the grass verge outside your home or place of work regularly, it might be worth trying the old-fashioned method of asking them directly to stop!
They might be parking there simply because they don’t realise it’s not allowed, and will cease doing so as soon as they learn better. This is often the easiest, most straightforward solution, too, as it can be settled without the involvement of other parties or spending money.
Contact your local authority
As mentioned, you can contact your local authority to issue the driver with a parking ticket if they often park on your verge and cause damage.
If you live on a busy road and a parked vehicle obstructs the pavement, you can contact the authorities. They will take action should they deem it necessary.
Speak to your local council
While it is illegal for you to install bollards on a grass verge or other area of land you don’t own, there is nothing stopping your local council from doing it.
You can contact your council and ask them to consider installing bollards or barriers onto the verge outside your home. However, there is no guarantee that this will happen, as there are many factors to consider. After all, a lot of these decisions are often made on a case-by-case basis and will depend heavily on the location and the amount of funding that can be acquired.
If you do own the grass verge, install barriers!
Now, things change quite a bit if you are the owner of the grassy verge in question. If the verge or area of turf is on your property or plot of land, you are within your rights to install bollards or barriers to prevent people from parking there without prior permission.
If you want to preserve the natural aesthetic of an area, consider choosing timber bollards or wooden street furniture. These will be less eye-catching than metal alternatives and blend in with their surroundings far more effectively.
Can I park on a grass verge next to double yellow lines?
No, waiting restrictions apply even to grass verges next to double yellow lines, so you will be issued a ticket if you are caught parking there.
Who do roadside verges belong to?
Verges are owned by the Highway Authority, which is why you often need planning permission before making any changes to yours.
What to do if someone blocks your driveway?
If someone is blocking your driveway, you can call the police, and the offender's car may be towed if the police cannot contact the owner.