Getting to know your yellow lines 

  Published 28th March 2024

What’s the difference between single and double yellows? When is it ok to park on yellow lines? It’ll all become clear with our do’s and don’ts of parking restrictions...

  • Can I park on a single yellow?
  • What does a double yellow line mean?
  • Time restrictions and road signs

Single yellow lines are an important indication of parking restrictions, telling drivers not to wait or park at specific times of the day (indicated on nearby road signs). If you see a single yellow line on the road, you’ll want to check what the signs say before stopping or parking.

You can only park on single yellow lines outside the restricted hours. The accompanying signs along the road will let you know when the restrictions apply. The timings are often different from one road to the next, there’s no standard rule, so have a look at what the signs say before waiting or parking on a single yellow.

Near any yellow line there’ll be a standing sign, often on the pavement, telling you when you can and can’t stop there. They’re usually yellow signs telling you what time restrictions apply and include the “No Stopping” or “No Waiting” symbol (the blue circle with a red line running through it). If you can’t see any signs nearby, it’s safer to assume you can’t park or stop there.

An example of the time restrictions displayed on the sign might be 8 am – 6 pm. This means you’re allowed to park on the yellow line outside of these times. You could leave your car on the yellow line after 6pm, as long as you moved it again in the morning before 8am

Pausing on a single yellow to let passengers in or out of your car is usually ok, unless signs say otherwise. This also applies to loading and unloading your car. Pay attention to signs and road markings, like the ones outside schools, that say things like “keep clear” or “no stopping.” These signs are a clear indication that you mustn’t wait, park, or stop to pick up or set down passengers - not even if you’re dropping the kids at school!

What does a double yellow mean?

Double yellow lines generally mean no parking at any time. It’s best if you avoid stopping or parking on them at all, even if you can’t see any signs nearby. Like with single yellow lines, you may be able to pull over to drop off or pick up a passenger on a double yellow, but you should avoid this wherever possible. You’ll also need to look for any stopping restrictions and be sure you’re not causing an obstruction, the same as stopping anywhere. 

The only exception to these rules is for disabled or ‘blue badge’ holders. If you have a disabled badge, you can usually park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours. Make sure you display the badge clearly on the car’s dashboard. This exception will not always apply, so be sure to check for local signs and road markings too.

Follow this information to make sure you’re always obeying the law. You can find out the exact wordings of single and double yellow line restrictions in the Highway Code.


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