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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.


Controlled Parking Zones

A controlled parking zone (CPZ) is a parking scheme mainly used in urban areas. CPZs are used by local councils to address particular parking problems in a community - usually in order to help residents park near to their homes. This means that parking is only permitted in designated parking bays - the remainder of the kerbside space is subject to yellow line restrictions. CPZs can also be used to allow more free-flowing traffic through town centres, particularly where parking causes problems for the emergency services. To find out more information about controlled parking zones in your area, contact your local council.

In law, CPZs don't even exist but are "creatures of statute" and, in order to be enforceable, should comply with rigidly laid down road marking regulations

Controlled Parking Zone rules

Entrance and exit signs show the hours during which all on-street parking is controlled

Parking is only permitted in designated parking spaces, the remainder of the kerbside is subject to yellow line restrictions

Single yellow lines prohibit parking during the hours of control, double yellow lines prohibit parking at any time

Some single yellow lines have signs showing different, usually longer, operation times

Parking during the permitted hours may be free or charged

What does this mean?
Controlled Parking Zone signs are probably the most important signs to understand when parking, as they indicate a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ).

In a CPZ all parking is controlled. There are no unrestricted parking areas in a CPZ; every bay is reserved for a specific purpose.

When parking in a bay in a CPZ, always check for the sign or bay markings stating what parking is allowed in that bay.

The times on the CPZ sign indicate when parking regulations are in force. If the times in an individual bay are different, the times will be shown on the sign by the bay.

There may be different types of bays on the same street, so always check the signs or markings next to the bay you are occupying to see what type of bay you are in.

The CPZ includes all streets past the entry sign until you see a CPZ ends sign. As a rule of thumb, if there are resident parking bays or pay and display bays in a street, that street is inside a CPZ.

What happens if I park in a CPZ when the restrictions are in force?

The times on the sign show when single yellow lines and parking bays are enforced. If you park on single yellow lines within these times, or in a pay and display bay without making a payment etc., you may receive a Penalty Charge Notice.

All double yellow lines are enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and some individual parking spaces, including resident bays, may have their own timeplates indicating the hours of enforcement that are different from the CPZ hours. Always check signs when you park.

How does a CPZ work?
A Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) is an area where all on-street parking is controlled. This means that parking is only permitted in designated parking bays and that the remainder of the kerbside space is subject to yellow line restrictions.

Its main aim is to discourage commuter and long stay parking by people from outside the area. To make sure that this works fairly, zones are enforced by uniformed parking attendants.
There are signs at the entry roads to all CPZs giving the hours during which the controls and yellow line restrictions are operational.

Sometimes, yellow line restrictions within a CPZ operate for longer than the controlled hours and, if this is the case, there will be signs on the kerb or pavement giving the hours of restriction. The only exception to this is double yellow line restrictions, which always operate "at any time" (24 hours a day, seven days a week) and do not require a sign plate to indicate when they are in force.

General parking regulations for controlled zones can be found here.

What types of CPZ are there?
The council's Technical Services Department is responsible for the design, operation and regular reviews of the of these schemes.

There are two main types of parking control; all-day restrictions and one-hour restrictions and a CPZ can be made up of a mixture of the two.

You can report parking contraventions online
All day zone
This operates for most of the working day (e.g. between 9.30am and 5.30pm) Monday to Friday. In some shopping areas, this can also include Saturday.

Bays are normally shared use being a combination of permit holders and pay and display. The time limit is often two or four hours, but there are a number of one hour 'shopper bays' in busy shopping areas. There are also some eight hour bays.
One hour zone
This operates for one hour per day - usually Monday to Friday. It is designed specifically to deter commuters. It will allow others to park without restriction outside the specified hour.

Residents who own or keep a vehicles may purchase one resident parking permit as well as visitor permits for use by
their visitors. Businesses may purchase business permits for vehicles which are essential for the efficient operation of their business. Tradesmen may also purchase permits to use whilst carrying out work at addresses within a CPZ.

Where are the CPZs?
These can be found in most big towns and cities

Iinformation courtesy of Wandsworth Council

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