Can You Park on a Single Yellow Line?

Almost everywhere we drive there seems to be parking restrictions and laws in force. Other than the police, local councils in particular appear to be finding new methods to increase parking regulations they can impose on motorists.

The question ‘can you park on single yellow lines’ depends on whether the lines have parking restrictions at that particular time. Pulling up at the side of the road on any line other than a solid white line has a possible three restrictions, depending on the type of line it is. These three restrictions are as follows:

No stopping – literally prohibits you to stop at the side of the road at any time except in emergencies.
No waiting – Allows you to stop on the lines momentarily to set down or pick up passengers and load or unload goods, except if there are loading or unloading restrictions in place.
No parking – Parking is defined as exiting and leaving your vehicle unattended.

When the restrictions are in force, single yellow lines have the no waiting and no parking regulation, meaning it is permissible to stop, load or unload goods, set down or pick up passengers. Providing this action is continuous and does not exceed a reasonable amount of time that the actions in question would normally take, it is not defined as parking. Whilst setting down or picking up passengers, you must remain in your vehicle unless the person(s) require physical help in order to enter or exit the vehicle.

When can you park on a single yellow line

Most single yellow lines have part time parking restrictions. Those that do have a sign, or time plate close to the lines detailing what times it is prohibited to park there. Time plates are yellow and indicate the times of parking restrictions.

Single yellow line parking time sign
Times displayed restricting parking on a single yellow line

The circular blue and red no waiting sign is contained within the plate along with the hours that the lines are in force. If no days of the week are displayed, it means the line restrictions are in force during the times shown, 7 days per week.

Using the image to the left as an example, it is permissible to park on the yellow line from 6.30pm through to 8am Monday to Saturday and all day Sunday. If a time plate is not on display, you can assume restrictions apply 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

In many cities there are Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) that display parking restriction on a sign before entering the zone.

Single Yellow Line Without a Time Plate

Single yellow lines that are within a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) do not require time plates showing the hours of operation provided that their hours of restriction are the same as the CPZ hours. Single yellow lines that are not in a CPZ, must be accompanied with a time plate detailing the hours of restriction. In this instance, if you have received a Penalty Charge Notice, there may be grounds for appeal.

disabled drivers parking on single yellow lines

Disabled drivers who display a blue badge are permitted to park on single yellow lines within its hours of operation for a maximum of three hours.

Can I unload on a single yellow line

During a single yellow lines hours of operation loading or unloading is permitted for a maximum of 20 minutes for private vehicles and 40 minutes for large commercial vehicles although specific times are dependent on location.

No loading at any time sign and road markings
No loading at any time
No loading during times shown markings and road sign
No loading during times shown

Extra time can be applied for by contacting the council authorised for that area. You must ensure however that you are not causing an obstruction and that there is no loading restrictions in place.

Kerb markings as shown in the diagrams below dictate whether loading and unloading is permissible. Single kerb markings indicate a part-time restriction where specific times are displayed on a time plate close to the markings.

Two yellow kerb markings close together indicate a no loading at any time restriction ban.

Can you get a ticket for parking on a single yellow line

Although possible, police tend to not get involved in issuing parking tickets unless the vehicle is causing an obstruction or is hazardous to pedestrians or other road users in parking restricted areas.

Councils are appointed with the authority to manage and maintain parking restrictions within their boundaries. Traffic wardens, otherwise known as Civil Enforcement Officers will issue parking tickets to any vehicle that is parked illegally, including single yellow lines inside their times of operation. This falls under the contravention code 01 parking prohibition: Parked in a restricted street during prescribed hours.

Parking tickets otherwise known as Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), usually see a motorists fined around £60 or more for serious parking offences that cause potential hazard or danger for pedestrians or other road users. Fines are typically reduced if paid within a certain time.

34 thoughts on “Can You Park on a Single Yellow Line?”

  1. Karen Grindrod

    If there is Single yellow lines in a Car Park does this mean it is purely for Disabled parking only?

  2. Hello Karen,
    Car parks are a little different to normal roads. It depends on whether the car park falls under regulation from local authority, or whether it is private land owned by a supermarket for example. If it is local authority, the same rules will apply on the car park as those on the road, so single yellow lines will have restricted parking (for any driver) and typically bays will be used for parking (same as on a normal road). Private property that has public access such as a supermarket car park still must follow the Road Traffic Regulation Act, so you can’t drive on it uninsured for example. In terms of parking, this will be for the land owners to enforce if at all.

  3. Peter

    Is there a regulation that stipulates how many signs there need to be, or how often the signs must be repeated on any given single-yellow-lined road?

  4. Hi Peter,
    There are regulations regarding the size of the sign, size of the font, colour etc and no waiting signs must be placed at locations such as where vehicles have access to the said road (see page 22 legislation). Not too sure about repeater signs and distances. Perhaps someone could comment if there is such a regulation?

  5. Gerson Benjamim

    If there’s not yellow plates with restriction time and only a plate saying resident permit holders only or pay by phone, what does mean? Can I park on the yellow line if I have a resident permit?

  6. Hello Gerson, If it says on one sign resident permit holders or pay by phone, it means you can park there if you have a resident permit or if you don’t have one, then you can pay.

  7. Steve

    As a home care worker displaying a badge in the window am I allowed to park on a single yellow line whilst dealing with a client inside there house

  8. Hi Steve,
    As the rules vary depending on the local authority that issued the permit, I would advise you to contact those that issued it for the specifics.

  9. Narinder

    If there is a White Board stating Parking restriction for Permit Holders within the designated area with white lines, from Mon -Sat and Sun for few hrs. Does these resticted hours only apply to the designated parking spaces marked with white lines Or does it also apply to Single Yellow which is beyond these Boxes. As generally on Sunday i should be able to park in Single yellow, unless there is a Yellow board stating restrictions.
    I am asking as i was recently fined for parking in Single Yellow on Sunday , when the parking restrcition was on white board for the area marked with White lines fo permit holder parking. But i parked in Single yellow line beyond this white marked area.And there was no restrcition for Yellow marking.

  10. Hi Narinder,
    If there are no time plates for the yellow lines and the area is a controlled parking zone (CPZ), the single yellow line restrictions normally have the same times of control as the controlled parking zone. If the restriction times are different, there must be a separate time plate for the single yellow lines. If the area is not a CPZ, the single yellow lines must be accompanied by a time plate. In terms of time plates, single yellow lines are different to double yellow lines in that double yellows do not require (by law) a time plate if the restrictions are in place 24 hours a day and every day of the year.

  11. Narinder

    Thanks for your reply.
    So below i have summarized with an example so that its clear for all to understand :
    [DY=Double Yellow, SY= Single Yellow, CPZ = Controlled Parking Zone]

    I cant park in Double yellow line at any time.
    Now CPZ restriction Mon-Sat 08:30 – 18:30, Sun 12:00 – 18:00. Which means i can park in CPZ after the mentioned restricted hours and also in the SIngle Yellow Line as there is no seperate restriction shown for Yellow line. So the CPZ restrictions automatically apply to Single Yellow if no separate Yellow Sign restriction board is dsplayed.

    So why not the council includes the Single Yellow into CPZ to make more parking space available and clear for the people to pay & park, rather then confusing people and generating revenue by imposing fines.

  12. Councils across the UK raised almost half a billion pounds in the previous financial year from parking fines alone. That might help in answering your question as to why they might not be overly incentivised in making things too clear.

  13. Narinder

    Yes its easy free money for the Council.
    Merton Council charged me 110£ for parking on Single Yellow line for 10mins on a Sunday Afternoon.
    How have they arrived at such high Fine charges ? Its ok to fine 10times the actual parking hourly rate, but 110£ is almost 100times. 🙁

  14. Whether it makes you feel any better or not, the money accumulated from parking fines usually goes towards road and highway infrastructure.

  15. Santos

    Thanks for replying all these messages. I parked on a single yellow line, for less than 5 minutes in Manchester sometimes in March this year, to pick up my laptop which my employer had just bought for its staff for us to be able to work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. I put on my flashing lights and I told our reception lady that I would come back soon. When the ticketing officer came, the reception lady told him but he just ignored him. Anyways, I appealed against it but no response from the council. I then got a Notice to Owner (NTO) which I appealed again. Still no response, a just two days ago, I got a charge certificate with the charge increased to £105. What should I do?

  16. Hello Santos,
    It depends on if you believe that you were issued the ticket that was not in accordance with the regulations. What was your appeal based on?

  17. Tom

    Hi I got a ticket for parking on a yellow line whilst delivering a special delivery for Royal Mail
    I was using my own vehicle with hazards on a note stating delivering for Royal Mail I was less than 10 minutes ticket states I was away for 6 minutes is this worth an appeal

  18. Hi Tom,
    Generally speaking, loading and unloading is usually given 20 to 40 minutes depending on vehicle type and location and only permitted if safe to do so (no causing obstruction). The issue you may have is that vehicles must be seen to be in continuous use for loading and unloading and must not be left unattended.

  19. Kim Grimes

    I parked on school zig zag lines after the times stated on the sign “no stopping between 8am-5pm and they gave me a ticket at 5.45pm when I appealed it they said I got a ticket because of the single yellow line thats also there (I thought all zig zig school lines had the yellow line at the kerb side) but as there is no sign at any point of entry to the street or anywhere on the road so how is the ticket even valid

  20. Hi Kim,
    Is the area within a controlled parking zone? If it is, there doesn’t need to be time plates for the single yellow line.

  21. Annie

    If there is a single yellow line with a sign that says ‘no loading mon to sat’ with specific tones given, does that mean that I can park there on Sundays or outside of those times?

  22. Hi Annie,
    There should be a sign indicating when you can (or cannot) park, else it should be in a controlled parking zone (CPZ) which will have the times indicated.

  23. For picking up or dropping off form a single yellow line is there any regulation about the driver being able to leave the car? For example, if you have to park on a single yellow line but walk 50 metres to help the person get to their door ie, an elderly person or young child?

  24. For private vehicles, what constitutes loading or unloading of goods? For example, can I drop a bunch of flowers off to someone privately? Can I collect or drop off a parcel to someone?

  25. Hello MG,
    There’s no definitive regulation and it’ll be enforced based on which council covers the area you’re in, but generally speaking, if no waiting is enforced, you can drop off a person or stop to pick up a person, but as the driver, you shouldn’t leave the vehicle. Leaving the vehicle to walk 50 metres would constitute as waiting.

  26. As a private vehicle and not as a business, you would not be able to do this. You need to be a goods vehicle with evidence of paperwork.

  27. Taulant

    I feel like I am a stupid I must drop my wife in putney to catch her bus to Central London and I find it difficult can you advise me please

  28. Hi Taulant,
    You can drop off and pick up on single and double yellow lines, but you cannot wait (unless signs permit). If you are picking someone up, then it’s best to ensure they’re ready to get into the car, rather than waiting for them. If the area has red routes, (double red lines), then you need to be more careful of these as they usually have stricter rules (such as no stopping) and often have CCTV monitoring them.

  29. Hanna

    I got a fine parking next to the single yellow line during the restricted hours. The car was parked behind the single line, and not on the road, but on the side of the road, where during the low season these restrictions do not apply, but the day I parked there it was the start of the high season. I heard that if the car is a certain distance away from the line (let’s say 2 ft away from the road towards the side of the road where the parking place is) the charge does not apply, is this correct, could you please clarify? thank you.

  30. Hello Hanna,
    Yellow line waiting restrictions apply either side; from the centre of the road to the boundary (of that same side of the road). The boundary is usually defined as a wall, hedge or a grass verge (the verge will be part of the restriction). In certain situations, ‘Boundary’ can get a little difficult to define, but it would most certainly be further away than 2 feet.

  31. anna

    I got ticket on single yellow in cpz and hold resident permit. Does the 5minute grace period have to be honoured? You can park there after the cpz, and it confuses me as its not designated parking space but after cpz it is.

  32. Katie

    Hi, do recently been fined for parking on a single yellow line. This single yellow line is on the street I live at and parking down my street is extremely limited. Yellow lines cover more than half the street. There is nowhere close by that I can park my car without also being ticketed there. The lines are only there as there is a school right next to my street and parents park their cars in my street to take their children into school. After receiving the fine the same day and also following day I watched the enforcement officers merely giving people who were dropping children off warnings (even then the warning was because they were parking on a clearway, not a yellow line) said parents then moved to just park over a yellow line in front of enforcement officers and nothing was said or done. I’m extremely annoyed that I have been ticketed for being parked on a single yellow line when I live on the street and these parents are getting let off with warnings and not receiving a fine at all. I am going to be appealing the matter, would photographic evidence of cars being parked on single yellow lines and the enforcement officer just standing there doing nothing help with my appeal?

  33. Hi Katie,

    When the parents are dropping off their children, is the driver remaining in the vehicle? If so, this is permissible. If the parents are also leaving their vehicle, then this would be considered parking. If the single yellow line has a time plate that displays the times that it’s restricted to park on the line, then it should be a parking contravention if the restriction time are when the children are dropped off. Or the single yellow line has restrictions connected to a Controlled Parking Zone.

    I don’t think the actions of the parents (contravention or not) or the enforcement officer’s lack of authority would be grounds to have your ticket cancelled. Though issuing a complaint would likely result in the officer being less lenient, if that is indeed the case.

  34. Hi anna,
    You can park on the single yellow line only outside its hours of operation as detailed by the CPZ. There’s no grace period on roadside single yellow lines.

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