Documents to download

Who is responsible for parking policy?

Parking policy across the UK is devolved. This paper discusses the position in England only.


In England, parking policy generally is the responsibility of the Department for Transport (DfT). However, since March 2015 the responsibility for policy relating to off-street parking has transferred within government, from the DfT to the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

The DfT issues guidance that local authorities in England must follow when designing and enforcing parking prohibitions.[1] There are certain things that they must do – set out in legislation (such as the procedures for issuing penalties, the amount of penalties, provision of information about the appeals process).


In Scotland, the Scotland Act 1998 as amended, prescribes those areas reserved to the UK Parliament; everything else is devolved. Section 43 of the Scotland Act 2016 amended the legislation to clarify that responsibility for pavement parking policy was also devolved. Transport Scotland was established as an executive agency of the then Scottish Executive in January 2005. It is the national transport agency Scotland and is responsible for developing parking policy.


In Wales, Schedule 7A, Part II, Head E of the Wales Act 2017 prescribes those policy areas reserved to the UK Parliament. Parking is devolved. Information on how parking operates in Wales can be found on the Welsh Government website.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland parking is governed by separate legislation and procedures. The NI Department for Infrastructure makes parking policy. Information on how parking operates in NI is on the NI Direct website.

The parking industry in Great Britain is represented by two accredited trade associations – the British Parking Association (BPA)[9] and the International Parking Committee (IPC). The BPA was formed in 1970 and has over 750 corporate members and 500 individual members. The IPC was set up in 2012 and has over 150 members.

Other topics addressed in this paper

This paper also answers FAQs on the following topics:

General parking issues

Responsibility for parking policy; devolution; the use of DVLA driver data; bailiffs; abandoned vehicles; wheel clamping.

Local council-controlled parking

Council parking powers; pavement parking, appealing parking tickets.

Parking on private land

Regulation of private parking companies; ‘cowboy’ parking enforcement companies, the parking Code of Practice.

Parking for people who have a disability

The Blue Badge scheme; using a Blue Badge in the EU; Brexit, how to get a disabled parking space; what size disabled spaces should be.

Further details on these issues and more can be found in the following Library briefings :

Documents to download

Related posts