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View Full Version : Is overnight sleeping on the highway legal



Gadabout2
25-06-2012, 08:54
We have just been told by Brighton & Hove Council that it is illegal for us to sleep in a vehicle on the highway, even though we may be legally parked.
Does anyone know what the legal position really is?

donkey too
25-06-2012, 09:18
Why bother to discuss it with them? it will only cause them to look into it and cause problems.

How do they know that you are sleeping in the van? Also I have never in over 40 years of wildcamping had cause to sleep in my van on the highway. I have always found a less conspicuous (can't spell that) place to stop.

donkey too
25-06-2012, 09:20
Also meant to say did you know that it is actually illegal to park on the highway at all?

John H
25-06-2012, 10:01
We have just been told by Brighton & Hove Council that it is illegal for us to sleep in a vehicle on the highway, even though we may be legally parked.
Does anyone know what the legal position really is?

I agree with Donkey too but if you are turned away you could try asking to see a copy of the Traffic Regulation Order that bans it. There is no law that bans sleeping in vehicles but local authorities may pass by-laws. However, in most cases they don't bother and rely on deterrent notices that have no force in law. An interesting point that has recently come up is that Scarborough have admitted that their old by-laws were unenforceable because of the problems with proving that occupants were sleeping - so they have tightened them up to ban motorhomes full-stop from certain areas. This is a good example of what happens if you stir things up.

Firefox
25-06-2012, 10:18
There's no law that bans sleeping in vehicles, but then there's no law which allows parking of vehicles either. Parking has become an accepted custom where it does not obstruct the highway, but there's no right to do it. There is a right to ban parking in certain places though. So when they said "legally" parked what they should say is parking (according to accepted custom) where there is no restriction.

Personally, I would have nothing to do with the council. Park up where you want having paid the fee or on an unrestricted bit. Use blackout curtains on your van and low light. There's no way they would know you are in there. If someone knocks you've no duty to answer it. Keep a low profile and don't get involved with the council. Their advice is wrong anyway.

Smaug
25-06-2012, 10:46
We have just been told by Brighton & Hove Council that it is illegal for us to sleep in a vehicle on the highway, even though we may be legally parked.
Does anyone know what the legal position really is?

Is this a consequence of getting "caught" or have you just been poking them with sticks to see what they say? Councils will often say stuff like that to discourage people if asked. But as already pointed out it is very difficult to prove someone is sleeping in a van rather than relaxing with a book, or doing a bit of late night DIY, or even having an essential break on a long journey for road safety reasons.

But do be careful if you were just asking to see if you can. If you point out a weakness in their "defences" they may well decide to plug it. It is better to say sorry if caught than to ask & be refused! :lol-053: Now that you have asked & been told no, they will probably try to throw the book at you if caught. And if you do manage to wriggle out because they don't have a relevant Traffic Order they will then make the effort to get one.

Pands
25-06-2012, 11:32
We have just been told by Brighton & Hove Council that it is illegal for us to sleep in a vehicle on the highway, even though we may be legally parked.
Does anyone know what the legal position really is?

Did you contact the council to ask? Or was you told by a. Traffic warden

Firefox
25-06-2012, 11:45
I wouldn't bother challenging them or anyone else in authority. Just move on, park elsewhere, or come back with your blackout curtains. Then don't answer the door or interact with them in any way. How do they know anyone is in the van or even what you are doing. You could be lost checking out the map or reading or on the computer. It's just another parked vehicle.

Geraldine
25-06-2012, 12:07
Pack up your van and come along to Worthing seafront Ferring end, Herbenny1 stayed there no probs! Lovely views over the sea!!

Teutone
25-06-2012, 12:28
Pack up your van and come along to Worthing seafront Ferring end, Herbenny1 stayed there no probs! Lovely views over the sea!!

just had a look on Google earth, looks really nice.

Gadabout2
25-06-2012, 14:45
Thanks all for the replies. Usually we use inconspicuous spots, and lots of the POI we have downloaded; but we like to go to Brighton quite a bit.....the Pavilion is worth visiting at regular intervals, and it has lots of "entertainments". We frequently park up for the night on the roadside in a parking bay at Hove which is "Pay & Display", but free overnight, and we've never had any bother, so will carry on using that. We contacted the Council to find out about parking in the centre of Brighton during the day.

We need to challenge Councils like Scarborough AND HASTINGS (where we have had difficulties) to get them to provide motorhome stopovers. Anyone who can afford to buy one of these expensive vehicles can surely afford to spend money in their town/city on meals, food, cinemas etc...so they should be encouraging us. I will never go to Hastings again and I will take my money elsewhere...looks like Scarborough will get the cold shoulder too.

Admin
25-06-2012, 15:31
Oliver Cromwell decided he didn't want people eating mince pies on Christmas Day, so banned them from doing so in the 17th century. Seemingly, you still can't.

Smaug
25-06-2012, 18:08
Scarborough are attempting to set up an "Aire" specifically for us, but have badly misjudged the pricing. I suggest you e-mail them to tell them. Check out the relevant thread & read the Councilo report. There is an e-mail address there.


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