Parking, waiting and loading restrictions

Road markings 

Road markings, such as yellow and white lines, help traffic to flow more smoothly, improve safety, keep access clear and ensure efficient use of road space.

  • yellow lines control where vehicles cannot stop, park, load or unload 
  • white lines control where vehicles can park, load or unload
  • double lines usually mark lengths of road where there is no waiting at any time
  • single lines usually indicate a shorter period of restriction
  • yellow zig zags accompanied with yellow time plates (small signs) are legally enforceable. If there are no time plates present then the lines are advisory only
  • yellow box junctions (criss-cross yellow lines) need to be kept clear for through-traffic to avoid traffic jams - do not enter the yellow box until your exit road is clear.

Signs explaining their meaning are always provided, except where there are double yellow lines to indicate that you cannot wait at any time.

Our aim is to use yellow lines only when they are really needed and where they will work.

Requests for yellow or white lines

New yellow or white lines or changes to existing ones will only be considered where at least one of the following is met:

  • a road safety problem has been identified and a reduction in accidents would follow
  • obstruction of the road or of visibility at junctions occurs on a regular, and severe basis, particularly where buses and emergency services are affected
  • businesses are seriously inconvenienced by parked vehicles
  • they are an essential part of a new traffic or road scheme.

If one or more of these apply and you think yellow or white lines will help with the problem you have noticed you can call us on 0300 500 80 80 and let us know when and where the problem occurs.

We can assess the problem and decide what action should be taken.

Parking and waiting restrictions provided by lines on the road can help to solve some problems but are not always the answer as they can just move the problem elsewhere. The different needs of all road users need to be balanced.

Restrictions may not be appropriate where they cannot be enforced on a regular basis as this can lead to drivers ignoring them.

Each restriction must be defined by a Legal Order which can take over a year to make or amend.

Illegal parking, waiting and loading

If you park, wait or load where there are restrictions in force, you may be issued with a penalty charge notice (PCN) by Civil Enforcement Officers. In some areas vehicles may be towed away.

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