Key facts about parking restrictions and enforcement

Parking restrictions exist to help the community. By enforcing them, our civil enforcement officers (CEOs) keep people safe, prevent access being blocked, keep traffic flowing and ensure everyone has fair access to car park spaces.

Common misunderstandings about parking restrictions and enforcement

We know there are some common misunderstandings about parking restrictions and enforcement - check to find out key facts. 

During the restricted times shown on the signs, you are not allowed to stop on zig zags or yellow lines even just for a minute to drop a child off. 

Zig zag no parking rules apply both in term time and in the holidays - there may be holiday clubs and activities.

Always check the time restrictions on the signs.

Zig zag markings and other parking restrictions are there to protect children. If you ignore the restrictions, you risk hurting children. 

You cannot load and unload in a council car park without paying the appropriate parking charge. 

Where parking restrictions that apply to a road allow loading and unloading, there is no time limit for the loading or unloading. But you can only load and unload if there is no risk to other road users, and you must move on as soon as you have finished. You can get a penalty notice if a CEO sees no activity for 3 minutes or more.

You need to obey all parking restrictions - there is no set time allowance and you can get a ticket instantly.

You cannot stop on a single yellow line except where the restrictions allow or for loading and unloading.

Always check the signs before you park

Double yellow lines do not need signs - they always mean no parking at any time, even on a Sunday or if someone is sitting in the car.

The only people who can park on double yellow lines are Blue Badge holders, who can stay for up to 3 hours as long as there are no signs saying parking is completely prohibited, they do not cause an obstruction (for example, by parking too close to a junction), and they display their badge with the clock set correctly. 

Blue Badges can only be used when the holder is in the car. So you cannot use the Blue Badge for trips such as doing shopping for a badge holder.

If you have a Blue Badge, you are still not free to park anywhere. You cannot park in areas where signs say parking is completely prohibited, you must not obstruct junctions, you must follow the Highway Code, and you must follow the instructions in the booklet that came with the badge.

You cannot reset your clock to get more than 3 hours on double yellow lines.

Holders of EU Blue Badges can use them straightaway in the UK. But if you have a Blue Badge from outside the EU, you must tell us about your badge before you can use it. You can email the Blue Badge team or call them on 0300 123 5020.

More information about Blue Badge parking:

Blue Badge parking in car parks

GOV.UK - Blue Badge holder rights and responsibilities 

You can get a penalty charge notice if you do not pay the car park charge, whatever the reason you are parking there (unless you have a dispensation). There are no special exceptions for people such as construction workers working nearby.

You can get also get a penalty notice for reasons other than not having a valid ticket, such as not parking within a marked bay. These wider terms and conditions apply even outside of charging hours.

Check the notices in the car park or see car park regulations

You cannot have parking restrictions put in place, taken away or changed just to suit you, even if the restriction is outside your house. 

This applies even if you have moved into a house with a disabled bay and you do not need the bay - the bay may be for other people to use too. To ask about the possibility of removing a disabled bay, contact 

See road safety improvement projects to find out more.

When we introduce new parking restrictions, we put up warning notices for the first 7 to 10 days and do not issue any penalty charge notices during that time.

If you are the registered keeper/owner, you are responsible for paying any penalty charges even if you were not the driver at the time. 

A penalty charge notice will not go away if you ignore it. You must pay or challenge the notice within the time limits allowed or we will register your debt with the court for enforcement agents to collect. The sooner you pay, the less you pay. See pay a parking penalty and challenge a parking penalty.

Parking contraventions that can lead to a penalty charge

For a full list of parking contraventions that can lead to a penalty charge notice, see list of parking contraventions and penalty amounts.