The loading and unloading of goods is one of the few exemptions to on-street parking restrictions in the UK.However a loading restriction, incorporating a prohibition on both loading and parking is one of the most misunderstood by drivers in the country leading to the needless incurring of parking tickets.
Parking prohibitions in the UK are most commonly represented by yellow lines. But there are also widespread bans on footway, overnight and crossover parking. However all these bans are overridden under certain circumstances by the allowance to load and unload for specific periods.
Nevertheless certain stretches of highway are regarded as too risky to permit long term parking to facilitate loading/unloading. Such stretches, such as busy junctions or intersections are marked with yellow lines accompanied by Kerb Chevrons or Marks. Kerb Chevrons are small yellow strips marked on the kerb beside a yellow line drawn along the carriageway edge. These chevrons ban both parking and loading for the period stated on nearby white upright signs that must always accompany them. Or in other words, they override the usual loading allowance on yellow line restricted streets.
There are 2 types of loading bans represented by Kerb Chevrons. They are -.
• Single Kerb Chevrons
• Double Kerb Chevrons
Single Kerb Chevrons
Single Kerb Chevrons are represented by suitably spaced single kerb marks on the kerb and they ban loading largely during the morning and evening rush hour, with a window in-between where the activity will be permitted as an allowance on the accompanying yellow line. For instance a sign stating – NO loading 8.30am – 1030 and 4.30pm – 6.30pm. This will prohibit loading/unloading during the period stated, but permit it within the window of 1030am – 4.30pm. Single Kerb Chevrons can be marked against both single and double yellow lines.
Double Kerb Chevrons
Double Kerb Chevrons represent a 24 hour parking and loading ban and they can only be marked against double yellow lines. They must always be accompanied by a white upright time plate specifying the restriction and its hours of enforcement.
Kerb Chevron/mark Design rules.
1. Kerb chevrons must always be accompanied by upright signs (time plates) specifying the restrictions and their operational hours
2. Kerb Chevrons must be signed for every 15 metres of restriction
3. Kerb Chevrons must be placed in such a manner as to ensure that there will be at least one set beside a standard length car
4. Both single and double kerb markings must be backed by a Traffic Order (Traffic Regulation Order in London) by the local authority imposing it.
Legislation and Traffic Sign Guidelines for Kerb Chevrons
All loading bans must be backed by relevant Traffic Orders (Traffic Regulation Orders in London). Traffic orders are the legal instruments which Local authorities in the UK promulgate to establish and enforce their parking restrictions and controls. They are issued under the auspices of the Road Traffic Act 1984 and the Traffic Management Act 2004 and must be promulgated in line with the stipulations of the Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 which require some form of prior consultation and publication of intent in a local newspaper.
Kerb Chevrons, representing loading bans and their accompanying upright signs are standard UK traffic markings and signs and must be designed and positioned in accordance with the stipulations of the main UK traffic standard – The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions TSRGD 2002. Design standards for Kerb marks or chevrons are found in schedule 6 of this document while the upright signs that must accompany them are authorised in schedule 2. All markings and signs not in accordance with the specifications of the TSRGD will be invalid and any parking tickets issued on them open to challenge.
Single and double Kerb marks are authorised by TSRGD 2002 Regulations 4 and Directions 7, 23, 24(1), 24(4) 25 and explained in the Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 5 section 20.7 on page 116 -117.
The accompanying signs for both single and double kerb markings are authorised by the Traffic Signs Regulation and General Directions TSRGD 2002 – Directions 7, 11, 24(1) and 25.
Enforcing Loading Prohibitions in the UK
Loading bans in the UK are enforced by Contravention code 02. They are amongst the most stringent UK restrictions on stationary vehicles and carry few exemptions. However they do not disallow parking by vehicles involved in statutory works. Nor do they prevent stopping which occurs when a vehicle parks on the public highway in compliance to a traffic control/instruction or to allow passengers alight or disembark from a vehicle, provided there is no delay in either activity.