The introduction of parking restrictions requires the making of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), which is the legal instrument that local authorities use to implement most traffic controls on their roads. This legal process can be quite lengthy and involves stages of consultation with local elected representatives, the emergency services, the public and other interested parties.
The main reason for imposing parking restrictions is to prevent obstructive and hazardous parking. The restrictions apply to all road users, including residents and their visitors, unless an exemption exists. Some exemptions exist for disabled drivers
In order for parking restrictions to be effective they must receive regular enforcement. For this reason parking controls are most successful in town and village centres where enforcement officers are in regular attendance.
Waiting restrictions usually apply to the whole of the highway including verges and footways. They are normally indicated by single or double yellow lines along the road edge, or parking bays within the road. Where the restriction applies only during certain times of the day or for a period of time then these markings are supplemented by small upright signs placed adjacent to the road.
In controlled, meter or voucher parking zones the detail of the restrictions in force and the times of operation are provided by signage at the entrance of the zone. Within the zone single yellow lines are used without upright signs, with parking places indicated by white bay markings and upright signs or meters.
Resident parking schemes can be considered in areas where off-street parking is limited limited and parking by non-resident vehicles such as commuters or shoppers causes difficulties for residents in parking close to their home. The scheme involves designating parking areas for for which eligible residents can purchase permits to park for an unlimited period. The need for such a scheme is determined through assessment and surveys.
Resident parking schemes are not considered where residents have the ability to provide adequate off-street parking. It must also be demonstrated that the scheme will not cause unacceptable problems in surrounding roads. For this reason resident parking schemes are often considered on an area wide basis. In addition, there must be local authority resources available to administer and enforce the scheme.
Loading restrictions (including unloading) are indicated by yellow marks on the kerb or road edge, supplemented by small upright signs placed alongside the road displaying the restriction and time of operation.
A length of road that is reserved for loading is indicated by a white bay marking combined with the wording ‘LOADING ONLY’ plus a small upright sign providing details of the restriction and times of operation.
Blue badge holders are permitted to park for a period of no more than three hours on single and double yellow lines, provided that no loading restrictions are in operation and no obstruction to the traffic flow is being caused. Disabled drivers must not park in loading bays.
Access protection markings help to highlight private entrances and prevent their obstruction. The markings, which are only advisory, are white ‘H’ shaped lines painted on the carriageway over the length of the dropped kerbs.
Civil Enforcement Officers employed by district councils (except in Gosport) can issue a penalty to a vehicle parked in front of dropped kerbs. In the case of dropped kerbs in front of driveways, a penalty would only be issued if a complaint is received from the occupant of a property that their access is being blocked. This means residents can still park alongside the dropped kerbs in front of their own driveway.