Loading and unloading

Where you can load

Businesses and individuals can stop to load and unload in:

  • single and double yellow lines (except where a loading ban exists)
  • paid for parking bays
  • resident bays
  • loading bays (always check the signs for restrictions)
When stopping to load or unload from your vehicle, continuous loading activity must be apparent otherwise a parking ticket (PCN) may be issued.

Where you can't load

You cannot stop to load or unload:

  • where a loading ban is in place
  • on zig zags
  • ​in specialist parking bays (eg diplomats, doctors, dedicated disabled bays etc)
  • suspended bays

Loading time limits

The rules differ for commercial vehicles, HGVs, and private vehicles. Where loading is permitted the following applies:

Vehicle type Time limits All other times
Commercial vehicles 8.30am to 11am: as long as necessary

Single yellow lines - unlimited as outside of controlled hours

Double yellow lines - as long as necessary

Paid-for parking bays - unlimited as outside of controlled hours

Resident bays (always check signs for controlled hours)

  • during controlled hours: 20 minutes
  • outside controlled hours: unlimited
11am to 6.30pm: 20 minutes
Paid for and residents bays: 20 minutes
Heavy Goods vehicles (HGVs)* 8.30am to 11am: as long as necessary
11am to 6.30pm: 40 minutes
Paid for and residents bays: 20 minutes
Private vehicles** 8.30am to 11am: as long as necessary
11am to 6.30pm: 20 minutes
Paid for and residents bays: 20 minutes

*Maximum laden weight exceeds 3.5 tonnes.

​**Private vehicle owners can only stop to load and unload where the items are too bulky or heavy to be carried from the nearest available parking space.

Single yellow lines and paid-for parking bays are uncontrolled on Sundays and in some locations on Saturdays also. Always check the signs for the hours of control.

Carrying out works

If you need to carry out specific work for a longer period of time, you may need to suspend a parking bay or apply for a yellow line dispensation.


Last updated: 27 March 2017
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