A yellow line across the side of the road indicates that there is a restriction regarding either parking or waiting in that particular area.
Yellow lines, along with all parking restrictions, are designed to help the free flow of traffic and ensure public safety.
They are generally found in areas where there is likely to be a lot of free-flowing traffic and so parking in that area would cause disturbances and congestion.
It is therefore in the public interest for certain areas to have parking restrictions so that everyone can enjoy the through-roads, limited parking, or pick-up points, without being negatively affected by somebody parking in that area.
Single yellow lines
A single yellow line will allow you to stop your car temporarily whilst you allow passengers to either exit or enter your vehicle, or while you are unloading something or picking something up.
You cannot wait on a single yellow line between the times specified on a sign that should be visible nearby.
This will state something like Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.
Outside these hours, you are allowed to park on a single yellow line. If there is no visible sign nearby, it is likely that the parking restrictions fall in with the local controlled-parking zones.
To find out when these are in place, you should check with the local council.
Double yellow lines
Double yellow lines, on the other hand, mean that you cannot wait at any time.
Howeve, you may stop to load or unload, unless there are loading restrictions signposted nearby.
Loading restrictions are marked by yellow lines on the edge of the kerb and the restrictions will be signposted nearby.
The only times you may ever park on a double yellow line are if you need to change a flat tyre, if the police instruct you to or if it is an emergency.
In addition to yellow lines there are a number of other parking restrictions, for example:
- Permitted parking under certain conditions: this will usually be shown by a sign with a white “P” and a blue background and have the conditions for parking written underneath it. The restrictions will usually relate to “residents’ parking” in which only a designated resident is allowed to park. This will usually occur near a town centre where many people will be looking to park and it is felt that the residents should receive priority. Other similar types of restrictions include parking for a maximum amount of time; this is usually to ensure that people who are just popping to the area are not unfairly prejudiced in terms of where they can park. In general, permitted parking under certain conditions is aimed at ensuring the public benefits as much as possible by ensuring residents, locals, and visitors are all catered for.
- Private land and council property: private land, for obvious reasons, will operate on a different basis to that of public land. The land is not owned by the general public and therefore the owner may charge additional fees and place different restrictions on parking. Whilst an owner of private land does not have carte blanche to do as they wish, and the Government will still be able to regulate parking charges, the private owner does still have a lot more scope for charging different rates. They will have to place a sign detailing all restrictions and fees.
If this is not done, fines can be disputed. Council property also has several different rules, but again these should be detailed in a sign or notice near the parking area.
There are a number of different rules in relation to parking restrictions, most of which will be detailed in any sign or notice near the particular parking bay.
It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure they are allowed to park before stopping and leaving their vehicle.
If your vehicle is found illegally parked the local council can issue a penalty charge notice. This is a fixed fine usually around £60, which can be reduced to £30 if paid within a certain period. Fines can vary between councils and can increase for more serious parking offences.
Read our articles on how to challenge fixed fine tickets.