A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued if a parking restriction is contravened. Read more about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).
There are two levels of penalty charge for parking incorrectly. PCNs will state the contravention code with a short description. A full list of the contravention codes can be found here.
To avoid getting a PCN, please ensure when you are parking that you have checked the signs, lines and notices on the street and that you comply with any restrictions.
The police will enforce other traffic offences which can result in penalty points on a driving licence. This includes dangerous parking, causing an obstruction, parking on pedestrian crossings and all moving traffic offences.
Civil Enforcement Officers have no quotas or targets to meet and are not given any bonuses for issuing PCNs.
On street parking restrictions and what they mean
Single Yellow Lines mean no parking during the times shown on the accompanying sign. The restriction applies to all parts of the public highway, including the carriageway, pavement and verge.
You may only wait on these lines if you are allowing passengers to board/alight or are carrying out loading/unloading of large, heavy or bulky goods. You are not allowed to park on single yellow lines while you are shopping so any goods should be pre-ordered. Commercial goods vehicles may also load/unload on single yellow lines.
Blue badge holders may wait on single yellow lines for up to 3 hours but must ensure that their clock is correctly set and prominently displayed.
Double Yellow Lines mean no parking at any time. The restriction applies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Double yellow lines do not need to be accompanied by a sign. The restriction applies to all parts of the public highway, including the carriageway, pavement and verge.
You may only wait on these lines if you are allowing passengers to board/alight or are carrying out loading/unloading of large, heavy or bulky goods. You are not allowed to park on double yellow lines while you are shopping so any goods should be pre-ordered. Commercial goods vehicles may also load/unload on double yellow lines.
Blue badge holders may wait on double yellow lines for up to 3 hours but must ensure that their clock is correctly set and prominently displayed.
Yellow Kerb Markings mean that you must not load/unload and blue badge holders must not park. If there are double yellow kerb markings the restriction applies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If there are single yellow kerb markings the restriction applies at the specific time shown on the accompanying sign.
Restricted Zones will have a sign at their entrance to show the restriction and the times that the restriction applies. There will also be a sign at the zone’s exit to show that you are leaving the restricted zone. If the sign says 'at any time' then the restriction applies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are no yellow lines on the road in restricted zones, instead ‘No Waiting’ is indicated on the signs by a red circle on blue background with a single diagonal red stripe.
We have restricted zones in Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City and Royston town centres.
- If the restriction shown on the sign is ‘No Waiting Except Where Signed’ then you may only wait if you are carrying out loading/unloading or allowing passengers to board or alight. The places where parking is allowed will be indicated by other signs.
- If the restriction shown on the sign is ‘No Waiting and No Loading Except Where Signed’ then you must not carry out loading/unloading anywhere except in loading bays. The restriction covers the carriageway and pavement and applies to all vehicles including motorcycles. The places where parking is allowed will be indicated by other signs. Blue badge holders may only park in designated ‘disabled badge holders’ bays or limited wait bays.
Keep Clear Entrance Markings outside schools are in place to help with safety for school children, and parents. No vehicle should stop or wait on these markings for any reason.
Pedestrian Crossings and their Zig-Zag Markings - no vehicle should stop on the zig-zag markings at a pedestrian crossing for any reason. You should be aware that this contravention is also considered to be a traffic offence and a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued by the Police
Dropped Kerbs - a vehicle must not be parked on the carriageway adjacent to a footway, cycle track or verge where there is a dropped kerb for the purpose of assisting pedestrians crossing the carriageway, cyclists entering or leaving the carriageway, or vehicles entering or leaving the carriageway across the footway (e.g. a driveway to a property).
Designated parking bays on street
Any designated bay on street will have a sign clearly displayed indicating its use, who may park there and what time restrictions apply:
Disabled Badge Holder Bays - we have disabled badge holder bays in each town and non-badge holders are prohibited from parking in them. Some bays may have a limit on the amount of time that badge holders may park there, and this will be displayed on the sign.
Badge holders should always display their badge and ensure the clock is set correctly and prominently displayed.
Loading Bays - we have designated loading bays located around the district to allow goods vehicles to operate without causing traffic congestion or obstruction. Non-goods vehicles may use loading bays in order to load or unload large, heavy or bulky items (unless the sign specifies the bay is for ‘Goods Vehicles’ only) or to allow passengers to board/alight the vehicle.
A vehicle may only park in a loading bay if it is being used to load or unload goods.
You are not allowed to park in a loading bay while you are shopping so any goods should be pre-ordered.
Blue badge holders must not park in loading bays unless they are loading/unloading and then must move their vehicle immediately after loading/unloading is finished.
‘Limited Wait’ Parking Bays - the signs will show how long parking is allowed for and at what times the restriction applies. It will also show how long before you can return to park again. Blue badge holders may park in these bays for an unlimited amount of time.
Pay & Display Bays - these bays will be clearly signed indicating that you need to purchase a Pay & Display ticket.
Resident Permit Parking Areas - we operate a number of residents’ parking zones around the district. The zones are areas where all on-street parking is controlled.
Within the zones there are designated areas for permit holders. Those designated areas are indicated by signs and in some streets there are also bays marked on the road.
A permit is required if you wish to park in the designated permit areas during the hours in which the restrictions apply.
Suspended Bays - occasionally we may need to suspend a bay. If we do this, we will place yellow signs around the parking place advising the days and times of the suspension. During these times parking is not allowed. Drivers should ensure they check the signage as a suspension is a change to the normal permitted parking.
10 minute grace period in parking bays
We will give a 10 minute grace period to vehicles parked in designated parking places, when the period of permitted parking ends. If a vehicle is parked legally in a designated parking place when it is initially parked and stays beyond the permitted parking period, then the 10 minute grace period will be given before a Penalty Charge Notice is issued.
The 10 minute grace period applies only to designated parking places in the following instances:
- upon expiry of a paid for session during controlled hours (e.g. expiry of a ‘pay & display’ ticket)
- upon expiry of a permitted ‘free’ parking period during controlled hours (e.g. in a ‘maximum stay’ bay)
The 10 minute grace period does not apply to anywhere outside of a designated parking place (e.g. on double yellow lines, single yellow line, loading bans etc), or where a vehicle is parked without permission in a designated parking place during controlled hours (e.g. without a permit, without a Blue Badge or without having made payment).
Before issuing a Penalty Charge Notice, the Civil Enforcement Officer will observe the vehicle parked in contravention.