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Rules for loading and unloading

Cities can be problematic when it comes to parking and avoiding fines. To help, we have compiled some information that will assist you day to day. Please be aware that various Local Authorities are trying to get it right and enable the freight industry to do its thing without the current problems you face day to day. As such there is a mixed bag of options all with the ability to catch you out, which parking attendants are keen to exploit.

Most important thing to remember

When a vehicle stops in order to load or unload goods it is often exempt from parking regulations. However continual use of the vehicle is necessary and it must be moved immediately loading has finished. Taking bulky or heavy goods to or from a vehicle is normally permitted.

Reasonable time is permitted for checking paperwork too, but as soon as the delivery is finished, the vehicle must be moved. Loading time (observation time) is usually restricted to between 5 to 20 minutes but this varies from borough to borough. If more time is required then you need to contact the local council to make special arrangements, where you can pay for the privilege.

Across London to find out the observation time at your drop off point or reserve a bay or get permission to park on double yellow lines (suspension or dispensation) check the detail in this website under London.  Or simply click through here to London Loading/Unloading.

Obvious restrictions

Restricted areas include:

  • disabled bays
  • bus stops
  • taxi ranks
  • diplomatic parking
  • suspended parking bays
  • zig-zags around pedestrian crossings
  • School keep clear zig-zags
  • clearways (during hours of operation)
  • Mandatory cycle lanes (solid white lines instead of the dashed lines)

Camera Enforcement

There is a growing number of static camera sites which are permanent video recorders that marshal the parking and moving traffic. They have swivels and amazing zooms. They'll get you somehow.

Need help to remember exactly what the various lines, signs, rules and regulations mean to you?   In this section we listed the different types in an easy to understanding 'what it is all about'.