Can you ever legally park on a zig zag, double yellow line or in bus stops?
The short answer: No, and there are generally no exceptions. Fines range between £40 and £130 depending on the severity of the offence.
We’ve all seen it, that person parked on a double yellow causing an obstruction to the road.
But can you pull over in that conveniently placed bus stop or at those handily located double yellow lines right outside where you want to be?
So when you may be looking to briefly stop somewhere – is it ever legal?
Here’s a run down on all you need to know…
When can you park on zig-zag lines?
The general rule is no, you cannot.
Yellow and white zig-zag road markings indicate that parking is prohibited.
So, in doing so, you are risking both a fine and penalty points.
Yellow zig-zag lines need a sign to be legally enforceable – but white zig-zags are enforced by councils and the local police.
Yellow zig-zags that have a sign in place are a civil matter – not a criminal one.
When can you park in a bus stop?
Rule 243 of The Highway Code tells road users: “Do not stop of park at or near a bus or tram stop or taxi rank”.
DO NOT stop or park:
- near a school entrance
- anywhere you would prevent access for Emergency Services
- at or near a bus or tram stop or taxi rank
- on the approach to a level crossing/tramway crossing
- opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space
- near the brow of a hill or hump bridge
- opposite a traffic island or (if this would cause an obstruction) another parked vehicle
- where you would force other traffic to enter a tram lane
- where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles
- in front of an entrance to a property
- on a bend
- where you would obstruct cyclists’ use of cycle facilities
except when forced to do so by stationary traffic.
When can you park on double yellow lines?
Double yellow lines mean no waiting at any time and there are no excuses for the majority of road users.
The only exceptions are for disabled badge holders who are legally entitled to park up on the road where double yellows are painted.
In some places there may be signs specifying seasonal restrictions.
The Highway Code states: “The times at which the restrictions apply for other road markings are shown on nearby plates or on entry signs to controlled parking zones.
“If no days are shown on the signs, the restrictions are in force every day including Sundays and Bank Holidays.”
When can you park outside someone’s house?
It can be highly irritating in a morning, when you wake up to find yourself blocked on your drive by a car on the road.
The residential situation is arguably one of the most frustrating there is.
Of course, it’s understandable if it’s a temporary arrangement (say, if somebody is parked there while posting a letter, briefly visiting your neighbour, or dropping off their child).
But, if they are ALWAYS there, it can be a real burden.
And, unfortunately, we have some bad news: there’s little you can do about it.
In fact, if you live in a town centre or built up area, where parking is at a premium, people blocking your driveway aren’t actually (technically) doing anything wrong.
The police are often keen to remind people that it’s not their ‘right’ to park in front of their house – unless there’s a designated parking space in place.
If your road is governed by residential parking permits, or is private, it’s different.
If not, other members of the public aren’t breaking the law, as long as they’re complying with general restrictions, and not causing obstructions to vehicles travelling.
How you can challenge an unfair parking ticket?
If you have received a parking ticket, the person who issued it has determined that you have parked your car somewhere you’re not allowed to.
Firstly, you should work out if it’s from the council, or a private company (these tend to look alike).
Once issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) you will be expected to pay a penalty charge of £130 for a serious parking offence or £40-80 for a less serious offence – although this can vary by council.
You can reduce your fine by paying within 14-days.
If you think the PCN has been issued wrongly you must make your reasons known as soon as you can by writing to the address on the notice or getting in touch online.
Your appeal will then be reviewed and you will be made aware of the outcome.
You have 28 days to challenge a PCN.
If you do it within 14 days and your challenge is rejected, you may only have to pay 50 per cent of the fine.
If you’re appealing your ticket, hold on to any photographs from the scene (e.g. unclear lines), letters you’ve received, mitigating circumstances and any statements if possible.
This also includes:
- A valid pay and display ticket
- A letter from someone who was with you saying what happened – write ‘Witness statement’ at the top of this
- A repair note, if your car broke down
Make sure you include:
- The date the ticket was issued
- Your address
- Your vehicle registration number
- The penalty notice number
To appeal your case, you’ll need to prove your innocence.
You can appeal if the traffic signs were wrong, the council has made an error on the ticket, you’ve already paid the fine, the signs are misleading or confusing, you didn’t own the vehicle at the time or you’ve been overcharged.
To start your appeal online, you’ll have to enter your postcode at Gov.uk’s ‘Challenge a parking fine’ page here.