Not all restrictions need lines or signs.
No line and no sign:
Dropped kerbs can be used to provide access to properties (driveways), or to help pedestrians, especially those with mobility problems, wheelchairs, and puchchairs cross roads. No signage or lines are needed, though sometimes a white “H” bar will be used to draw attention to them. Councils need to apply separately to enforce these, so some councils may carry out enforcement but not enforce these.
Access to driveways will usually only be enforced by request of the occupier of the property (so you can block your own driveway – unless there’s another restriction); places where the kerb is dropped to aid pedestrian or wheelchair access may be enforced without a request.
Double white centre lines
Where the centre of the road is marked with double white lines, parking is not allowed – even if the side closest is a broken line. Double white lines are used with one or both sides unbroken to prevent moving into the opposite lane, used most often in rural areas and intended for use where visibility is poor due to the shape of the road. Rules 128 and 129 of the highway code cover double white lines. Setting down passengers and loading are still allowed. This is enforced by police rather than by councils.
This is also enforced by police rather than by councils (except on car parks). Remember that it’s not just other cars that need to get past – busses and HGVs need much more space, especially at corners and junctions.
Footway (pavement) parking is banned in London unless signs specifically permit it. Outside London, the legislation is less clear, but:
- yellow lines, loading bans, and red lines apply to the pavement and verge;
- blocking a pavement can be obstruction (scooters, double buggies and wheelchairs need to get past);
- driving on the pavement in order to park on it could be an offence (although this appears to be rarely enforced); and
- vehicles over 7.5 tonnes (laden) are specifically banned (Rule 244 of the Highway code).
Councils may also ban parking on the pavement with signs.
Signs but no lines
Clearways are usually used on major through routes and dual carriageways – they are signed, but no lines are needed. The sign is a large version of the “No Stopping” symbol at the start, and should have smaller reminder signs. As a “no stopping” restriction, even picking up/dropping off passengers is not allowed – but it’s mostly used on the types of road you wouldn’t want to stop on anyway.
Motorways have a no stopping restriction on them by default – the blue motorway “Chopsticks” sign indicates the start of motorway restrictions, which includes the no stopping restriction.
RPZs and CPZs
Some restrictions are marked by zone entry plates instead. These are most likely to be permit holders restrictions in residential areas, or no waiting/no loading restrictions in historic or pedestrianised town centres. There should be reminder signs through the area as well.
Lines but no signs
Double yellow lines
Double yellow lines don’t need a sign. They used to, but the requirement was removed over ten years ago.
In 2016, the rules given to councils about what lines and signs can be used on roads were changed, and one of the aims of the changes was to “reduce sign clutter”. Most bays will still have signs, but where the rules are clear enough without signs, they are no longer needed. The example given by the government is where “Loading Only” is written on the ground, and the bay is for loading only at all times; another use may be where a series of bays with the same restriction are broken by driveway entrances, a sign for each individual bay would be excessive.