All lines on the highway must be authorised by the highway authority. Special lines are allowed with prior approval of the Department of Transport, or if they are experimental or under trial.
Yellow and white lines
These are provided where there is a need to restrict parking to help maintain traffic flow, prevent obstructions on the highway and for safety reasons.
There are two types of yellow lines used to control parking:
Double yellow lines mark lengths of road where there is no waiting at any time. However, there are exceptions to this and extra plates fixed to lighting columns or posts will tell you what the actual restriction is.
Single yellow lines indicate a shorter period of restriction such as daytime. Again extra plates will show the actual times.
Loading restrictions are shown by yellow markings on the kerb and on the extra plates.
Bus stop clearways lines are shown by yellow markings.
Yellow box junctions help to prevent congestion at junctions.
Yellow zigzag road markings are normally provided at school entrances. They are to discourage drivers from parking and obstructing the view of pupils entering and leaving the school.
Similar markings without the word 'School' may be put outside fire and ambulance stations. These markings are to deter drivers from parking across the station exits and stopping fire engines and ambulances attending emergency calls.
White lines on the road are provided to help road users by giving different types of information. Road markings are as important as signs.
White lines that run down the length of the road are markings to inform and warn road users of approaching situations which will require them to take some form of action, such as:
- solid white line - do not cross
- lane line − turn right.
Other markings give information such as lane use and direction.
Lines which are placed crosswise on a road also give instruction, for example, stop or give way.
The Highway Code (opens in a new window) gives examples of the lines in normal use and their associated rules.
To report faded or missing white or yellow lines and road markings complete our report a road fault form.