Controlled Parking Zones and Parking Tickets – The Rules and Your Rights

It’s not difficult identifying a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) if you’re a motorist in one of the UK’s busier cities – that’s where most of the 8 million parking tickets generated annually in the country are issued. But medicine after death never a disease cured. Most drivers would prefer knowing they were in a CPZ before the fact was announced by a £80 or £100 pound fine slapped on their car by a Parking Attendant or Civil enforcement officer as they are somewhat unimaginatively called nowadays.

This article provides a concise guide and outline of the required laws, signs and road markings that by law must validate the existence of a Controlled Parking Zone in the UK.

What are Controlled Parking Zones?

A CPZ is a collection of contiguous streets within a local authority where most of the restrictions prohibiting parking (e.g. yellow lines) and those permitting it under certain conditions (e.g. Pay and Park bays, loading bays and Resident bays) share the same operational hours.

The zones are created to prevent cluttering streets with the endless repetition of upright signs, by consolidating common information in large time plates at the entry points to the zone.

What law authorises the creation of a CPZ

Controlled Parking Zones are authorised by Regulation 4 of the Traffic Regulations Signs and General Directions TSRGD 2002.

Regulation 4 of the TSRGD 2002, with further explanations in Section 12 of the Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 3 2008, establish the parameters and framework of a CPZ.

CPZ’s and Yellow Lines

The main restriction CPZ’s were created to consolidate are the ubiquitous single yellow lines. Without the large entry signs with common hours of enforcement emblazoned on them, literarily hundreds of individual upright signs would have to be installed at regular intervals on miles of single yellow lines across scores of streets

  • Any yellow line within a Controlled Zone will not require an individual upright sign as long as it shares the operational hours of the zone as specified on the large entry signs at the entrance to the zone.
  • Any single yellow line within a CPZ, but not sharing its hours of enforcement, must display an individual time plate stating its operational hours for it to be valid.“…It is possible that within a CPZ, there will be some lengths of road that have a prohibition of waiting at different times from those shown on the entry sign in which case individual upright signs must be provided unless the prohibition is no waiting at any time (Double yellow lines)…”
  • Single yellow lines residing outside a CPZ must be accompanied by individual time plates specifying their hours of operation.
  • Double yellow lines both within and outside a CPZ are enforced for 24 hours and do not have to be accompanied by separate time plates.

What rules must a CPZ adhere to for it to be legitimately enforced?

  1. There are 2 types of CPZ entry sign, the smaller one and a larger version. Both are authorised by TSRGD diagrams 663, 663.1 and 665 and their permitted variations. The smaller signs are used on roads with a speed limit less than 30 miles per hour. The larger signs must be used on roads with speed limits of more than 30 miles an hour.
  2. There must be a set of CPZ entry signs on every entry point to the Zone, for the zone to be enforceable The signs must be erected for all entrants to the zone to see them when entering it. If this is not done with any roads missed out, technically a motorist could legitimately claim not to have been made aware of the existence of the CPZ when he or she entered it.
  3. There must be a large CPZ entry sign on both sides of every entry road to the zone.
  4. All parking bays and places within a zone such as pay and display, loading, disabled, permit etc must be accompanied by their separate signs even if they share the zonal hours of restrictions.
  5. All loading restrictions within a Controlled Parking Zone must be individually signed, except a loading ban including its operational hours are added to the lower panel of the CPZ entry signs.
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