White bays

White bays mark out spaces that are specifically in place to park in. There may or may not be rules attached to the bay on a sign, or written on the ground in white paint. In some places, they may be marked out with different paving instead of white paint.

For the most part, the signs that go with these bays are clear and self explanatory, but there are some examples that can be confusing.

types of bays include:

for blue badge holders only. May or may not have time limit; three hours is the most common time limit, but could be any. Except in Scotland, the clock that comes with the blue badge must be displayed, showing the arrival time, wherever there is a time limit.
Permit holders
spaces reserved, usually for residents in an area with demand from people living outside the area, nut may be for local businesses. Often has a code showing which permits are valid. Some councils now have “virtual permits” which can be checked on the CEO’s handheld, rather than having a physical permit on display. notextile.
Mon - Sat 8am - 7pm 20 mins No return within 40 mins

Sign for limited waiting bay

Image Crown Copyright, used under the Open Government License.

Limited waiting
bays with a time limit. Usually anyone can use these, but the time limit means they are not suitable for workers (who will find parking elsewhere), which keeps spaces open for customers (who are more likely to give up and go elsewhere without convenient parking), including making sure new spaces keep becoming available during the day. There is usually a “no return within” time; this means once a vehicle is moved out of a bay, it can’t be returned to that bay/street/zone for that amount of time. This prevents the time limits being abused by vehicles just being moved a few inches forward, or out of a bay and straight back into it. Blue badge holders can park in these for as long as they need unless signs specifically limit blue holders as well. – Disc zone := a special type of limited waiting bay, councils provide “clocks” to be displayed in the cars showing the arrival time.
Pay & display/metered
paid for parking, often has a time limit. Payment made be at a pay and display machine, at a meter, or by phone. Blue badge holders can park in these free of charge, and time limits only apply to blue badge holders if these are specifically signed.
Loading only
may or may not have additional restrictions such “goods vehicles only” or a time limit; these are typically put in so that there is space for local businesses to receive deliveries from.
Shared use
a bay for two or purposes, usually a pay & display or limited waiting bay that residents can have permits for, allowing them to park without paying the tariff or for longer than the normal time limit.
Motorcycles only
spaces for motorcycles; may exclude motorcycles with sidecars using the wording “solo motorcycles only”. Often provided as a free space due the difficulties of securing and clearly displaying a pay & display ticket, and/or as part of a transport plan as motorcycles contribute less to congestion and air pollution than cars, but some charge.
Coaches only
spaces for coaches to park; these are not the same as bus stops.
Goods vehicles only
the lorry symbol means “goods vehicles”, so includes vans as well as HGVs.
Electric vehicles charging point
for charging electric cars; may require the car to be plugged in as well as being electric.
Car club bays
these are basically a special type of permit bay for “car club” rental services.