Monday, October 27, 2008

Double yellow lines along the A435

As part of the debate on congestion along the A435 (Alcester Road South, Alcester Road and Moseley), I have been asked a series question by residents about  why we do not enforce double yellow lines more strictly.


The answer to this is that there are limitations to how much double yellow lines can be enforced. All the double yellow lines along the A435 allow loading and unloading outside peak hours. This means that we can’t issue tickets straight away to someone parked on double yellows outside peak hours – instead the parking attendant has to observe the car for 5 minutes to prove it is not loading or unloading. This is why tickets are rarely issued to anyone using the various cash point machines, whilst parked on double yellows. Or why tickets are rarely issued to parents parked on double yellows outside schools who are picking up children.


It would be possible to lengthen the restricted hours for loading and unloading on the A435 – for example preventing loading or unloading along Kings Heath High Street between 7am and 7pm. However, this would negatively impact on disabled drivers and shops that do not have rear loading bays (which is about 10% of the shops on Kings Heath High Street). We would therefore have to install disabled bays and loading bays for the shops. There would require a considerable amount of negotiation with the shops to make sure the loading bays were in the right place.  


To explain this matter further, I asked the City’s Traffic Manager a series of questions on double and single yellow lines via e-mail.


Below is my e-mail and the response from the Traffic Manager.


My question is as follows:


Does Birmingham have any double yellow lines which are 'no loading at any time' and have two yellow marks on the kerb?


In Moseley the double yellow lines have no loading 7.45am to 9.15am and 4.30pm to 6.45pm. If a car is parked on these double yellows during these times, say 8.30am, will a traffic warden ticket them straight away or will the traffic warden observe the car for 5 minutes and then ticket them?


Just to confirm - if a car is parked outside these loading restricted times, say 2pm, a traffic warden will observe the car for 5 minutes and then ticket them?


During legal loading times, how long are the following vehicles allowed to unload for:

private car

commercial van

motorcycle courier

Heavy goods vehicle




The answer is as follows:



Dear Councillor Mullaney,


Road Markings indicating Waiting and Loading Restrictions


I refer to your e-mail of 15th October.


On the ground, waiting restrictions are indicated by double or single yellow lines.  A double yellow line indicates a continuous ‘prohibition of waiting’ and does not require a sign to be in place as well.


A single yellow line indicates any period of ‘no waiting’ other than ‘at any time’ and requires a sign to be in place to advise drivers when the periods of no waiting are in force.


With respect to loading restrictions, these are also marked by a system of double or single yellow blips at the footway edge adjacent to the channel.  The double blip indicates ‘no loading at any time’ and the single blip indicates ‘no loading’ for a period less than ‘at any time’.  In both cases, however, signs are required to advise drivers of the restriction in place.


With regard to the queries raised in your e-mail, there are locations within the City where a Traffic Regulation Order has been made to prohibit waiting and loading at any time.


If a vehicle is parked on double or single yellow lines where there is a loading restriction then a penalty charge notice may be issued immediately. 


If a vehicle is parked on a single or double yellow line outside the loading/unloading restriction it is usual for a five minute observation period to lapse before any further action is taken.  The purpose of this observation period is to check whether the vehicle is only waiting or whether loading or unloading is taking place.


A period of up to twenty minutes is generally given for any class of vehicle, car, van or lorry to load/unload within a permitted period, although discretion is allowed if the vehicle is not causing an obstruction and additional time is required.  If an obstruction is being caused the driver may be asked to relocate the vehicle to a more suitable location to load/unload.


Vehicles displaying a disabled person’s badge have an exemption to allow them to wait on double or single yellow lines except when a loading restriction is also in operation or if the vehicle is likely to cause danger or obstruction to passing traffic.


On red routes, however, the basic control is ‘no stopping’, although there are certain exemptions mainly in marked bays. 



Yours sincerely,



Traffic Manager


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