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When can you park on a single yellow line?

When can you park on a single yellow line?

Avoid a hefty parking fine by reading our parking guide!
5 min read
  • Yellow lines are there to deter drivers from parking in a place where it's important to keep the traffic moving.
  • Most of the time, it’s possible to park on a single yellow line after 6:30pm on weekdays and all day at weekends and bank holidays.
  • Blue badge holders can also park on a single yellow line but have to display their disabled badges.

The UK has a lot of rules when it comes to parking on single yellow lines. If you’re not careful, you could end up paying a fine or getting your car towed away. Here are the answers to all of your questions about single yellow line parking and how they work so that you never have to worry about getting a PCN again!

What do yellow lines on the road mean?

Yellow lines are painted on the road, near the kerb, to mark places where vehicles should not park, as this would obstruct traffic.

They are also used as part of road markings to reduce the likelihood of vehicles blocking access or obstructing pedestrian routes.

Single yellow lines, usually indicate that you can’t park there between certain times of day, or for more than a certain amount of time.

However, if a double yellow line is in place you aren’t allowed to park or wait at any time.

By parking on the single yellow lines, you're likely to create an obstruction, risking your safety and that of other motorists and their vehicles.

A view of a road in London showing the single yellow parking line on the carriage way.

Can you park on a single yellow line?

The simple answer is that, in most places, it's permitted from 6:30pm on weekdays and all day at weekends and bank holidays. In London, single yellow line parking rules may change slightly so that you can only park for up to two hours on the entire street during specified times.

So, yes, you can park but only if you can follow the rules shown on a nearby sign, or on a notice at the entrance to a parking area.

Keep an eye out - if the sign says 8:30am – 6:30pm, you can park on the single yellow line after 6:30pm. If you're parking overnight, you need to make sure you've moved your car before 8:30am.

Single yellow lines are there to deter drivers from parking in a place where it’s important to keep the traffic moving.

A controlled parking zone for a single yellow line road, showing the times when drivers are allowed to park.

What if there's no sign?

Just because there is no sign does not mean that there isn't a restriction in place. If you decide to park on a single yellow line, you will be  breaking the law and a traffic warden may fine you.

Maybe the local council hasn't noticed the signs are missing, but whatever the reason, the yellow lines are there for a reason.

If you receive a fine and you are sure you didn't see a sign, you can appeal against the penalty charge notice (PCN). You will need to provide sufficient evidence to show there was no sign.

What if the lines have faded?

If the lines aren't clearly visible and you park, you may still get fined. Legally speaking, there isn't a clear rule for this, however, if the yellow lines have faded, you may have a case to say that you didn't see them.

Although councils are supposed to keep their roads in good condition, this probably happens more often than not. You can appeal against the PCN by providing evidence that the lines have faded and you didn't see them.

What is the difference between single and double yellow lines?

The fundamentals of double and single yellow line rules are the same.

Single yellow lines are used on roads that have restricted parking during rush hour and other busy periods, such as in front of schools, hospitals, city centres etc.

While double yellow lines indicate no waiting at any time (other than very few exceptions).

The rules and differences between double and single yellow road lines explained.

When can you park on a single yellow line?

Under UK law, local authorities decide where single yellow lines can be painted and how long they are in operation for each day.

The rule of thumb is - you must always check the signs before waiting or parking! There are no standard times or rules so parking restrictions will depend on where you are.

It's very important to understand when you can park because the yellow line restrictions are in place to improve traffic flow, help emergency services and avoid creating traffic congestion. However, there are exceptions to this rule in certain circumstances.

Restrictions would always apply, however you may be able to park if:

  • You're a blue badge holder OR
  • Your vehicle has a Disabled Parking Disc
  • And also have a valid medical exemption certificate.

If you decide to park, you should make sure the above a clearly visible.

Outside of the times shown on any signage, you might be able to park on a single yellow line.

Can you park on a single yellow line on a Saturday?

You can't park on single yellow lines during the hours shown on the sign. So, you need to make sure you park after the restrictions have ended, and leave the area before the restrictions begin the next day.

Can you park on a single yellow line on a Sunday?

Generally speaking, most parking zones allow for parking on Sundays. But always make sure you check for any signage would says otherwise.

Can you park on a single yellow line after 6pm?

Many places in the UK allow for parking at 6pm or 6:30pm as this is usually after the peak hours of the day. Just make sure the nearby parking sign reflects that.

Parking during public holidays, such as bank holidays, Christmas day, New Year's Day and Good Friday

You may still get fined if you've parked your car on a single yellow line on a street which has rules. There are no specific rules for public holidays, so you should always make sure you have checked the signage.

Can you park on single yellow lines when delivering?

No, even when unloading. Yellow marks on the kerb or at the edge of the carriageway mean loading and unloading areas are not allowed. A single yellow line indicates that loading is not permitted for hours indicated on nearby signs.

Can you park on yellow lines for 5 minutes?

No, waiting or parking during the times shown on nearby signs or at the entrance to a controlled parking zone is not permitted. Even if you're stopping for a few minutes to pick up passengers.

Can Blue Badge holders park on yellow lines?

Drivers with a disabled badge can usually park on single yellow lines for up to three hours (as long they are not causing an obstruction).

Always, double-check with the local council as rules vary between different cities and areas. For example, many London boroughs have extra restrictions during set times or in specific areas.

If you decide to stop and want to avoid a fine, make sure you:

  • display your blue badge clearly in your car.
  • show the blue badge clock with the time you arrived and parked.
  • wait 1 hour before parking again after the first 3 hours are up.
  • don't obstruct traffic.
  • don't park if the signs say no loading or unloading allowed.

Yellow line parking fines

Local authorities are responsible for enforcing the rules about parking on single yellow lines. They will use CCTV cameras and traffic wardens to monitor areas where they think that vehicles may often park on single yellow lines without permission.

If you get caught, be prepared to pay a £70 parking fine (or up to £130 in London). The fine depends on the local authority! The fine is usually halved if you pay within 14 days - you have 28 days to pay the full fine or to appeal. You can even get your car towed if it remains parked for a long time!

If you want to delve into the topic, you can check out rules 238 to 252 of the Highway Code where you can see everything you need to know on parking and waiting. 

Remember, if you own a car on subscription, you the driver is liable for paying any fines you may receive.

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