An increase in road users and staycationers doesn’t just mean busier roads – it means more competition for parking spaces, too. When it comes to parking tickets, ignorance is not an excuse. So, it can pay (literally) to be aware of the rules so that you can ensure you don’t get an unexpected fixed penalty notice.
Double and single red or yellow lines
We all know that parking on double yellows is a no-no unless you are continuously loading and unloading from a vehicle or you are a blue badge holder – in which case, you are able to park for up to three hours on double yellows.
Single yellow lines are a little more complicated – you are prohibited from parking, waiting, loading or unloading at specific times of the day – there will be an accompanying time to tell you when restrictions apply but usually they are lifted on weekends or evenings. As with double yellows, blue badge holders can park on single yellows for up to three hours, unless the sign says otherwise.
Red lines are used on red routes in London and indicate that single and double yellow rules apply to all road users except blue badge holders and licensed taxis.
Clearway – no stopping
A red cross laid over a blue background means that you are prohibited from stopping at any time or under any circumstance. Clearway areas won’t usually be accompanied by road markings, so heed the signs, which will usually tell you when the clearway area starts, and when it stops (with smaller reminder signs every mile).
Yellow or white zigzags
It is strictly prohibited to stop - even to drop someone off - on zigzags. Yellow zigzags accompanied by an enforcing sign are normally found outside schools or emergency services (hospitals, fire or police stations); white zigzags, which don’t need an enforcing sign, protect pedestrian crossings.
Parking on the pavement
Parking partially or wholly on the pavement is prohibited unless a sign specifically permits it. By parking on a pavement, you are potentially obstructing pedestrians, wheelchair users, people with pushchairs, and the visually impaired. The Highway Code states that you MUST not park wholly or partially on the pavement in London, and SHOULD not park anywhere else – this means that parking on the pavement in London is an offence which could result in a parking ticket, whereas outside London, technically parking on the pavement isn’t against the law – although driving on the pavement is.
The Highway Code is clear about where, when and how you can and can’t park. If you are unsure of the rules, a refresher lesson with a local driving instructor (who will be able to help you brush up on your driving skills, too) could help you to park with complete peace of mind.