10 October 2012

Yellow Fever - a Bank Holiday outbreak

A pickup called Yellow Fever

Single yellow lines are very popular places for traffic wardens to scoot along to on Bank Holidays. After all, CPZ bays are free and they have to get their denied quota from somewhere, no good going back to the office and saying there wasn't a single car wrongly parked.

Mr Mustard is indebted to Declan Hoare, the Assistant Director of Highways and Transport, for rapidly providing the info about yellow lines that he was seeking (tongue lashing on another matter to follow quite soon though!) and here it is, an explanation about the enforcement of single yellow lines on a Bank Holiday (remember, never park on double yellow lines, simples - blue badge holders might be able to but more of that on another day)

First, what Mr Mustard asked:

Dear Mr Hoare

I have thought for some time that the website which sets out the details of parking enforcement on Bank Holidays would benefit from some simplification and added clarity.

What I would suggest as a layout that would leave no room for confusion is to present the information in 2 columns, the first of which sets out the items which will be enforced and the second one sets out those that won't be enforced. Thus the motorist can easily check the position. Do you agree?

I have a question about the enforcement of single yellow lines. These are enforced but residents and dual use and pay by phone bays aren't which rather implies that a single yellow line inside of a cpz should not be enforced either. Is that the case or would a ticket be given to a motorist on a single yellow line inside a cpz during the zone hours. This question is a general one and does not relate to any particular PCN.

Yours sincerely 

Mr Mustard

and then the response

Dear Mr Mustard

Our communications team are currently reviewing all our parking web content to make it more helpful to the public. I have therefore copied this email to Chris Palmer (aka the "Tooting Twister") so that your helpful comments on how to explain bank holiday enforcement can be considered.

In respect to your other query I can confirm that single yellow lines are enforced whether in a CPZ or not. Whilst residents bays, dual and pay by phone bays are not enforced yellow lines are enforced. This is to ensure that the public do not get confused about yellow line enforcement. As we both know most members of the public are not aware about whether a particular yellow line sits inside or outside a CPZ and therefore not enforcing yellow lines solely within CPZs was considered to be unfair to motorists who might believe all yellow lines to be unenforced on bank holidays. Enforcing all yellow lines prevents that confusion. Therefore I can confirm that a ticket would be given to a motorist on a single yellow line inside a CPZ during the zone hours.

Declan Hoare

Mr Mustard disagrees with Mr Hoare that this will stop the public being confused about yellow lines. It might if there was a clear statement to that effect on the council website but there isn't.

Mr Mustard can see the thinking behind the council's argument but it is a flawed one. Most people think that the large CPZ time signs at the entrances to a zone tell you all you need to know but they don't. They tell you the hours of single yellow lines (unless marked with other times) and of marked out bays which don't have a time plate. Now given that inside a CPZ that you can park for free in a residents bay, a pay-by-phone bay or dual use bay on a Bank Holiday then it is an easy step from there to thinking that the single yellow line inside a CPZ will also be off. That is a mistake that will cost you £110 (or £55 if the parking ticket is still on your windscreen when you reach your car, many are going missing, that will be the subject of another blog). 

The question is why anything except double yellows, parking on junctions and being an obstruction (the police may deal with this) i.e. dangerous parking, are not the only thing that are being enforced on a Bank Holiday. There is much less traffic on the road. The thing to do is to write to your local ward councillors and ask them to get the council to stop enforcing on a Bank Holiday. You can find their details here.

Our quality of life should come before revenue raising on a Bank Holiday.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. Not sure i understand. the highway code says:
    You MUST NOT wait or park on yellow lines during the times of operation shown on nearby time plates (or zone entry signs if in a Controlled Parking Zone) – see 'Information signs' and 'Road markings'.

    so if there's no other signs to the contrary (CPZ included) then it should be legal to park on single yellow line?

  2. You are correct that the subject is confusing Ron. My zone, the C zone, says Mon - Sat 8am to 6.30pm on the zone entry sign and Bank Holiday Monday is a Monday so the yellow lines are enforced.

    Although the bays have the same times (usually, unless signed with other times) the council are opting not to enforce the bays.

  3. but is there separate plate for the yellow line?


I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.