The man with a van's guide to parking in London
Parking regulations in London
You've come to the wrong place if you're looking for the enthusiast's guide to nuclear fission. And our knowledge concerning antiques of the post-renaissance period is embarrassingly poor.Despite that, there is one thing that we at Friendly Movers man and van know all about: parking in London. Specifically we know a huge amount about parking and traffic fines in London having paid well over £1,000 in them during our first year of business.
The purpose of this document is firstly as a guide to our customers with the goal that they please sort out parking when we come to do a move or delivery. The second is as a general source of information to anyone who has to tried to make sense of the Davinci code-esque mess that is the London traffic laws and / or been stung by the lovely people who control parking in whatever borough they had the misfortune of trying to park in.
Quick Guide for our customers
Parking fines in London currently run at £120 per infraction (£60 if you pay within two weeks). It is not small change and if we get fined what it means is that we just spent two hours hauling your furniture and boxes up and down the stairs for absolutely nothing. We don’t presently pass along fines to you (as most companies do). Please be fair. Sort out parking!
Please look at the lines next to the kerb on the street where you'd like us to park.
- No lines, yellow or red.
- Meter parking
- Single yellow lines where there are no other markings on the kerb. On these we are legally allowed to load and unload – supposedly for twenty minutes but we can usually get away staying for longer if there’s no CCTV around and the wardens aren’t being too hyper.
- A marking on the kerb ('chevron' in TfL speak - usually two short yellow lines perpendicular to the kerb) indicates other restrictions which will be indicated on a small sign in the vicinity. It will usually say no stopping at whatever time and no loading at some other time. We are allowed to load at the specified time - please arrange your move for a time when it is legal for us to stop there!
- There may be loading / unloading areas on double / single yellow lines and red routes. They are usually time restricted - you can load / unload between 10am and 4pm. Please see below for more details.
- Double yellow lines
In general we're going to get into trouble on these and traffic wardens will almost always issue a ticket if they catch you parking / loading on them. They mean no stopping / loading, etc. although confusingly they may, like single yellow lines, have a chevron on the kerb and a sign saying you can load / unload at some times (there is in fact no logical difference between single and double yellow lines. Or indeed a single yellow line and a double red one. But I digress). It may be possible to get away with stopping for a short time but we'll need to watch constantly for the wardens and we wont be able to do it if there are any CCTV cameras around. (They just take a picture of you and send you the fine in the post.)
- Resident only parking
Just about anywhere in zone 1 or 2 will be resident only parking on residential streets. There will be dotted white lines outlining the spaces and a sign saying 'Resident permit holders only'. This means what it says! The council and wardens don't care that the van is outside your house trying to move your stuff. We will get a ticket! You can buy a 'scratch card' permit from your council (usually £5) or we can, again, watch out for the wardens.
- Clamping zones
These are usually on housing estates and in private car parks. They're not controlled by the local authority but by cowboy private firms that will jump at the chance to clamp you and charge you £150+ for its removal. Once again, we can park here but need to watch the van constantly!
- Crowded residential streets.
If there is no parking outside your flat or house because all the spaces are taken we may be able to double park to load and unload. This is obviously far from ideal because it will block traffic and will probably not be possible for larger moves. It will cause lots of stress and problems for everyone - including you! Please reserve a space outside your house. You can put wheelie bins, traffic cones, rubbish bags, etc. in the space and people will usually respect this.
No way parking
- Double or single red lines.
These are 'red routes' and you'll almost definitely get fined for even stopping on one – they are monitored constantly by CCTV and they will fine you if you make a wrong move (they just send you the fine in the post). Double red lines mean no stopping at all at any time.
There may be places on red routes where you can stop at certain times and load or unload. They're outlined with a dotted red line and there'll be a sign saying what times you're allowed to stop there (usually between 10am and 4pm).