We look at single and double yellow lines and what they mean for motorists.
In the UK we use yellow lines on our roads to indicate whether or not you can park there.
Single yellow lines mean you can't wait there between certain hours.
Double yellow lines mean you cannot wait there at all.
Usually, if you're caught parking on single or double yellow lines when you shouldn't be it won't affect your car insurance. But you could end up with a fine. Here's what you need to know.
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Can you park on single yellow lines?
Yes and no.
In the UK, you can’t park on single yellow lines between the times shown on the sign.
These are likely to be something like Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm, but always check the sign as they may differ.
However, outside of those times you can park on single yellow lines. Just make sure you check the sign before you park up.
You may also find that the signs will say you’re allowed to park there at any time on certain days, like Sundays.
Also, when you’re finding a space to park on a single yellow line, make sure you’re not causing an obstruction. Although, this rule applies anywhere, not just on single yellow lines.
Can you park on double yellow lines?
For most UK motorists the answer is no, you cannot park on double yellow lines. However, one exception to this is if you are a Blue Badge holder.
If you are, then you’re allowed to wait on double yellow lines for up to three hours. The limitation to this is you mustn’t be causing an obstruction.
If you park on double yellows and you don’t have a Blue Badge, or you forget to show your Blue Badge, then you could be given a £70 fine.
When can I park on double yellow lines?
Aside from being a Blue Badge holder there are a handful of other instances where you can fleetingly park on double yellow lines.
You can, for example, pull over to drop off or pick up a passenger. You just need to check there are no stopping restrictions and you aren’t going to cause an obstruction.
If you're collecting a passenger they need to be waiting for you - you can’t park up and wait for them to arrive.
Commercial vehicles are also able to park on double yellow lines for the loading and unloading of goods.
Can I park on yellow lines on a Sunday or bank holiday?
Regardless of whether it’s a bank holiday when traffic may be quieter, you still need to adhere to parking signs and observe waiting restriction signs.
If a parking sign says no parking between Monday and Saturday, 8am to 6pm, then even if it’s a bank holiday Monday, you still cannot park there.
Be safe, always check for parking restrictions.
This is the same for both single and double yellow lines.
The only exception to this rule is if you’re a Blue Badge holder.
Can Blue Badge holders park on yellow lines?
In short, yes. There are three things you need to keep in mind:
- It’s for a maximum of 3 hours
- You must not be causing an obstruction by stopping there
- You must display your Blue Badge clearly
Be mindful where you park, so keep clear of loading bays and traffic islands, otherwise you might cause an obstruction.
What are red lines?
With single and double red lines, parking restrictions are much like yellow, but stricter.
With double red lines, there’s absolutely no stopping and no parking on them at any time of day. Even if you have a Blue Badge.
If it’s a single red line, check the signs to see if and when stopping is allowed.
These red lines are generally added on high traffic roads where stopping would cause major obstructions. They’re there to keep traffic flowing smoothly.
Outside of London you’re not likely to see red lines. Unless you're in Leeds or the West Midlands.
What is an urban clearway and can I park in it?
An urban clearway is a section of road where you cannot stop or park your car.
The only exception is to very briefly drop off or pick up passengers. The clearway sign will specify what hours it’s in effect.
They're usually used in busy towns and cities to keep traffic moving at busy times of day.
Things to bear in mind on urban clearways:
- There won’t be any road markings to highlight the clearway
- There will be a sign for the start of the clearway as well as an end of clearway sign
- They’re usually on busy roads
You can find out more about the rules around parking and waiting restrictions at the government website.