Car Parking in the UK – It can’t be avoided, it is often extortionately priced and fines regularly cause motorists headaches.
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In many built up areas, it is often impossible to park anywhere but an expensive public car park as there are so many restrictions in place on the roads.
Where You Can Park
Firstly there are areas with no lines or no signs and these, often hard to find areas, are safe to park at any time. Just make sure you don’t park across a driveway or entrance or block anyone else’s access.
There are then areas such as parking bays, often marked with a dashed white line on the road and usually accompanied by a sign to inform you of time limits. These areas can be free of charge, for short periods, such as 20 minutes or 1 hour and in these cases there will usually be a restriction on returning to the space within an hour or two.
These areas may also require you to buy and display a ticket. If so there will be a machine close by and the sign will state any restrictions. Make sure you park within the bays and display the ticket clearly.
You will see double red lines mainly in large cities replacing double yellow lines on certain routes. They are usually in places where it would be hazardous to stop. They mean no stopping at any time, not even to drop off or pick up passengers.
Double Yellow Lines
Double yellow lines on the road mean that you cannot park in that area at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There may be a sign accompanying the lines stating ‘at any time’ but as of the end of January 03 this is no longer a requirement so you should assume, sign or no sign that you cannot ever park on double yellow lines. Unlike on double red lines, loading may be permitted on some double yellow lines.
Single Yellow Lines
Single yellow lines also represent restricted parking areas, but for only certain times of the day. There should be a sign accompanying the lined area stating the specific restricted period. This is commonly during peak hours, so parking in the evening or the weekend, may be allowed. There may other exceptions in place, such as for blue badge holders and for loading only.
Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ)
These are areas where Traffic Regulation Orders (Traffic Management Orders in London) restrict parking in certain areas with restrictions specified by signs placed on all vehicular entry. With exceptions of designated parking bays or other signed areas. If single yellow lines are in these areas, then the restrictions will usually be the same time as the zone, unless an accompanying sign shows different times.
Loading and unloading of heavy goods for both commercial and non-commercial vehicles are usually allowed on a yellow line as long as the vehicle is parked safely and is moved to a permitted parking space once the loading is completed.
There are sometimes restrictions for loading which are often marked by yellow lines on the curb. There will usually be a sign to show whether it is no loading at any time or whether loading is permitted during certain hours. When loading restrictions are in place, blue badge holders are not permitted to park.
In some residential areas you will require a residential parking permit, you can obtain a residentual parking permit from the local council.
Only residents of the local area will be able to obtain a residentual parking permit and it will only be valid for the area you live in, if you do not hold a permit and you park in a residential restricted zone then you will be liable for a fine.
If you do hold a residential permit then you can also apply for a visitor parking permit which will allow any guests you may have park safely.
If you are disable and hold a disabled parking permit then you are eligiable to park in any bays or streets where it says disabled parking.
If however you do not hold a disabled parking permit you are liable for a fine! If you feel you may be eligiable for a disabled parking permit which is also known as a blue badge then you should visit the direct gov website where you can apply for a badge.