Double Yellow Lines

Double yellow lines along the left of the road can be a misunderstood by many as they are often thought of as no stopping under any circumstances.

Although there can be exceptions to parking on double yellow lines, it is often an offence to do so meaning traffic wardens frequent such areas as results are often easily obtained.

This section offers a guide to double yellow line parking rules, vehicles loading or unloading, disabled badge holders and vehicles that stop to board or unload a passenger, plus Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) fines for double yellow lines.

Double yellow lines are put in place to prevent motorists from stopping at the side of the road for safety reasons and/or to aid in preventing traffic congestion.

Double yellow lines rules

Double yellow line rules state that a restriction is imposed to motorists to stop where the double yellow lines are in place unless otherwise stated, usually in the form of signs that signify times that are permitted.

If signage is not in place that permits stopping on double yellow lines, motorists are prohibited from stopping 24 hours per day, 7 days per week which includes Sundays and public holidays.

Double yellow lines
Double yellow lines

Exceptions to parking on double yellow lines

There are however some exceptions for the parking on double yellow lines law where it becomes legal. These are as follows:

Vehicles loading or unloading whilst on double yellow lines
A vehicle unloading or loading for commercial purposes is permitted to stop on double yellow lines, though the unloading or loading must be continuous, must not exceed 40 minutes for heavy goods vehicles, 20 minutes for cars or light goods vehicles and that there must not be waiting restriction kerb markings or signs in place. Loading or unloading must be obvious to the Civil Enforcement Officer (parking attendant).

Picking up or dropping off passengers on double yellow lines
Motorists that briefly stop on double yellow lines to pick up or drop off passengers are permitted providing no stopping restrictions are in force.

Disabled blue badge holders parking on double yellow lines
Vehicles displaying a valid blue badge are permitted to park on double yellow lines up to a maximum of 3 hours providing there are no loading restriction in place. Disabled blue badges must be displayed at all times as well as the accompanying time clock. The time clock must be set to the time of arrival. Although parking on double yellow lines is permitted, it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure they park in an area where they do not cause an obstruction, hazard or danger to other road users.

Authority services
Authority services such as the police and ambulance authorities are permitted to stop and park on double yellow lines providing they are engaged on official duties.

Can You Park on the Pavement Next to Double Yellow Lines

That’s quite a common question, or ‘parking on verge, or the other side next to double yellow lines‘. Parking on the pavement has its own potential issues, those aside, whether you want to park behind double yellow lines, the other side of them, whether there’s a pavement or a grass verge, the answer is no, it’s illegal.

Waiting restrictions apply from the centre of the carriageway to the back of the pavement (building line). Even if it’s a seemingly harmless grass verge, you’ll still get ticketed as it’s council property.

Vehicle Overhangs Double Yellow Lines

Motorists are often caught out by ensuring that the tyres are not touching the double yellow lines, but part of their vehicle overhangs the lines. Regulations allow for tickets to be issued if any part of a vehicle overhangs double yellow lines, even if the tyres are not touching them. Most parking officers are urged to use a degree of common sense on this and where tickets are issued due to a vehicle is overhanging the lines by a tiny margin, it may prove beneficial in disputing the violation. Always provide photographic evidence when disputing a case.

Penalty Charge Notice and double yellow lines

Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) are issued to motorists that do not conform to the rules for double yellow lines. With the exception of a commercial vehicle loading or unloading and a blue badge holder, a enforcement personnel will usually wait for around 3-5 minutes before issuing a PCN although if the vehicle is left unattended, a PCN will often be issued immediately.

A PCN is often issued immediately if a vehicle is stopped in a loading and unloading restricted area or within its restricted time zones. Restricted times zones are put in place on double yellow lines to prevent obstruction to the flow of traffic and potential or dangerous hazards.

Double yellow line parking fine

A double yellow line parking fine is usually £70 and if paid within 14 days, is reduced by 50% This may however vary depending on the council borough.

Double yellow lines with sign
Double yellow lines with sign

Double yellow line signs

Where a restriction applies all year round, yellow ‘At any time’ signs are no longer used. Double yellow lines may have a sign accompanying them. In this instance, no waiting at any time during the summer months (1 May – 30 Sept) in the direction of the arrow. No waiting at any time throughout the year in the opposite direction (no yellow plate required). The changeover point is indicated in the carriageway by the transverse mark on the double yellow lines.

Restricted loading and unloading on double yellow lines

Kerb markings follow a similar rule to single and double yellow lines. Single yellow lines restrict parking at certain times of day and double yellow lines restrict parking at any time. Yellow kerb markings are painted at right angles to the kerb and enforcement is represented by either a single yellow kerb marking or a double yellow kerb marking used in conjunction with the appropriate no loading sign.

Loading is prohibited between times shown on the sign
Loading is prohibited between times shown on the sign
No loading at any time sign
Loading is prohibited 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for at least 4 consecutive months. The plate should include dates if the restriction does not apply throughout the year

Learner drivers on the driving test

During the driving test, your driving examiner will not ask you to park anywhere illegal such as on double yellow lines in an attempt to see if you park illegally. They will only request that you stop the car on the left in a location that is legal to stop.

RELATED guides for Road Markings and Lines

23 thoughts on “Double Yellow Lines”

  1. myles

    I watched a YouTube video where a fake traffic warden was giving out tickets to police officers parked on double yellow lines. In the final video the police officer came out of her vehicle and said what are you doing? I have not parked, I’m still in my vehicle and have only stopped this isn’t illegal on double yellow lines. Is that true?

  2. Hello Myles
    Unless there are signs that suggest otherwise, you must not stop or wait on double yellow lines. You may load or unload a vehicle of goods providing there are no loading restrictions in place (usually by markings on kerbs). However, you can allow passengers to enter and exit a vehicle though you must move off immediately – this is providing there are no other restrictions in force such as no stopping.
    So essentially, unless the police officer was allowing passenger/s to board or alight, or they were loading or unloading the vehicle (goods), then they were parked illegally.

  3. james

    Authority services
    Authority services such as the police and ambulance authorities are permitted to stop and park on double yellow lines providing they are engaged on official duties
    so yes they can when they are on duty

  4. Carter

    …..if she was on official duty.

  5. David Lowe

    What is considered parking on double yellows , is it if your wheels are touching the lines , if any part of your vehicle is over the yellow lines , if u are within half a metre ?

  6. Hello David,
    It is from the centre of the carriageway and includes the other side – so if you were to park on the pavement or even a grass verge, this would still be considered a restricted area.

  7. Kate

    If you have avoided parking on double yellow lines and your vehicles wheels are clear of them but you have a mini bus with a boot that is just over the lines. What is the situation then. Have I parked legally or not.

  8. Hello Kate,
    Any part of your vehicle that overhangs double yellow lines, regardless of whether the tyres are not touching the lines is grounds for being issued a ticket.

  9. Linda Raab

    I would like to know if it is against the law to pass a trash truck or a mail truck on a double yellow line if they are stopped and or in the traffic lane?

  10. Hello Linda, if you’re referring to UK law, there are no traffic violations imposed for passing a vehicle that has stopped on double yellow lines. You must however not cross a solid white line (where the line nearest to you is solid) unless the vehicle is stationary, or a road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph or less.

  11. Claire

    Do loading stripes include the loading and unloading of passengers or just goods?

  12. Hello Claire. You may stop while passengers board or alight providing there are no other restrictions in place that prevent this.

  13. Richard Field.

    They have just painted double yellow lines in my street but there are no signs. Are the yellow lines in force or do there have to be signs at each end of the markings?

  14. Hi Richard.
    If double yellow lines have no signs, it actually means they’re in force (no waiting) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If double yellow lines do have signs to accompany them, it will display times that parking is permitted. These times are usually seasonal.

  15. gary

    hi i have received a parking ticket for parking on a grass verge adjacent to double yellows. my vehicle was parked the right way and a good foot away from the carriageway, it was in the Derbyshire peak district so no building line….

  16. Hi Gary.
    As double yellow lines are enforced on either side, I’m not sure if you have grounds for appeal.

  17. Tony Read

    In reply to myles.

    I would say that she is correct. As I understand it is that the car is only parked if the driver is not in it.

  18. Tony

    I read the road traffic act about 50 years ago and it stated that one can stop on double yellow lines outside a pharmacy to collect a prescripted medicine.

  19. Scott Bailey

    I parked on a grass verge well off the double yellow lines as I was picking up someone and had to leave my vehicle to go and help them. The PCN was received with no observation period whatsoever however I cannot prove that I was picking someone up so fear my appeal will not hold?

  20. Hi Scott,
    The restrictions for double yellow lines apply to both sides, so that would be the carriageway and in your case, the grass verge. You are legally permitted to pick up and drop off passengers on double yellow lines, but it should be one continuous action and should not involve leaving the car.

  21. Martin

    I was issued a PCN as a result of parking on a double yellow lines with zig gag during out of the hours of restriction.
    Any chance of winning an appeal.

  22. Hello Martin,
    I would assume that the restriction time plate is related to the yellow zig zag lines and not the double yellows. If that’s the case, the double yellow lines restrictions (no waiting) will be in force 24/7.

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