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Loading and unloading

A guide to loading and unloading rules for businesses.

Published: 20 January 2021

Last updated: 9 February 2021

Businesses and individuals can stop to load and unload on:

  • 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.

Loading time limits

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

Single yellow lines and Pay to Park bays are uncontrolled on Sundays and in some locations on Saturdays. Please always check the signs for the hours of control.

Document

Where you can load

Commercial vehicles

  • single and double yellow lines 8.30am to 11am: as long as necessary
  • single and double yellow lines 11am to 6.30pm: 20 minutes
  • single yellow lines 6.30pm to 8.30am: unlimited
  • double yellow lines 6.30pm to 08.30am: as long as necessary
  • Pay to Park and resident bays during controlled hours: 20 minutes
  • Pay to Park and resident bays outside of controlled hours (always check signs for controlled hours): unlimited

Heavy Goods vehicles (HGVs)*

  • single and double yellow lines 8.30am to 11am: as long as necessary
  • single and double yellow lines 11am to 6.30pm: 20 40 minutes
  • single yellow lines 6.30pm to 8.30am: unlimited
  • double yellow lines 6.30pm to 08.30am: as long as necessary
  • Pay to Park and resident bays during controlled hours: 20 minutes
  • Pay to Park and resident bays outside of controlled hours (always check signs for controlled hours): unlimited

*maximum laden weight exceeds 3.5 tonnes

Private vehicles**

  • single and double yellow lines 8.30am to 11am: as long as necessary
  • single and double yellow lines 11am to 6.30pm: 20 minutes
  • single yellow lines 6.30pm to 8.30am: unlimited
  • double yellow lines 6.30pm to 08.30am: as long as necessary
  • Pay to Park and resident bays during controlled hours: 20 minutes
  • Pay to Park and resident bays outside of controlled hours (always check signs for controlled hours): unlimited

**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

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

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.