Knowing where you can and can’t park can be a little tricky. Get it right and you shouldn’t have any problems. Get it wrong and you face the dreaded parking ticket or, even worse, getting towed. To make things a little easier we’ve highlighted everything you need to know and put it in one convenient place for you to refer back to.
Let’s cover the basics of where you’re allowed to park your vehicle and for more information visit the local council website here.
Where Can I Park?
Here is a list of places you’re permitted to park:
• A single yellow line: if you see a single yellow line, you’re allowed to park there at certain times. However, you need to consult the nearby sign for the exact details. Restrictions are usually lifted during evenings and/or at weekends (but don’t take that for granted, check the sign first). However, if you’re a Blue Badge owner, you can park there for up to three hours, providing it’s safe to do so (unless there are notices that explicitly say otherwise).
• Yellow line with a single kerb marking: everything we’ve just discussed applies, however, in addition to the limited times displayed on the poster, there are additional limitations regarding loading.
• Double white lines: technically, you can’t park here. However, you can drop people off.
• You can park outside someone’s house. However, you can’t block a driveway or leave your vehicle on a dropped kerb (more on that in a bit). Although, you can’t park on a street if you need a ‘residents permit’ to leave your car there.
Where Can’t I Park?
• Double yellow lines: you can’t park there at all, at any time. However, just like single yellow lines, Blue Badge holders can park here for up to three hours.
• Double red lines: these indicate that you’re neither allowed to load nor park at any time.
• A single red line: you can’t load, park, or drop off passengers between the times displayed on the nearby sign.
• Yellow zig-zag lines: you usually find these outside hospitals, schools, general emergency services, etc. These markings indicate a section of road where stopping or waiting is strictly prohibited. Typically, essential vehicles like ambulances and police cars need immediate access, and your parked car would hinder that.
• Clearways: if you see a round sign with a blue background and a red cross, you’re not allowed to stop at any time. Yes, that includes picking up passengers. Often these signs are put on neighbouring posters along with the words ‘No Stopping’ to mark each one-mile interval. This ensures the message is clear to all road users. There’s usually a warning at the beginning of the clear way to indicate the length of road you’re not permitted to park. Don’t mix these up with a white disk with a black line – this indicates a National Speed Limit road and has nothing at all to do with parking!
• You can’t park in a bay that’s reserved for either a specific person or a vehicle. These are usually obviously marked with a dotted line, in addition to the name of a user. For example, electric cars.
You’re also not permitted to park in the following places:
• Within ten meters of a junction
• Along a flat kerb (even if it’s your property).
• Cycle lanes
• On the hard shoulder of a motorway (however, if you’re broken down, and awaiting roadside assistance that’s fine).
• Bus stops
• On a pedestrian crossing
What Fines are Imposed?
As you may already know, you’ll receive a fine of up to £1,000 and potentially three points on your licence if you leave your vehicle in a dangerous position.
Or worse, you could obtain a driving ban if your car causes or risks a severe injury. For example, parking on a blind corner.
Fines are also issued for parking on double yellow lines. These usually cost £70. However, if you pay within a fortnight, often the council charges half the cost. For more specific information on this, contact your local council.