Yellow lines are provided where there is a need to restrict parking to help alleviate traffic flow and to prevent obstructions on the road.
Double or single yellow lines along the edge of the road show the existence of waiting restrictions and they apply to the road, pavement and verge. You may, however, load and unload goods or set down and pick up passengers, unless the signs or road markings indicate you cannot.
The times at which the restrictions apply are shown on nearby signs and they may be introduced to prevent waiting at any time (double yellow lines) or to restrict waiting at certain times of the day, or certain days of the week or to limit the length of stay (single yellow lines).
The Highway Code gives examples of the lines in normal use. To introduce waiting restrictions a Traffic Regulation Order needs to be made. This is done under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The process to bring this about requires consultation with all interested parties (i.e. - Town/Parish Council and Police as a minimum) followed by a public advertisement, with public notices posted on site and in the local newspaper.
Any objections received will be considered and efforts made to resolve them. Where a resolution cannot be achieved it is reported to the Highways &Transportation Board. Once approved, the necessary signs and markings are ordered and arrangements made for them to be in place on a date to coincide with that when the Traffic Regulation Order comes into force.
The yellow lines are then enforceable by the Council Parking Attendants, and the overall process is similar to all other regulatory measures such as speed limits, weight limits etc. The width and shade of yellow lines can be varied. In conservation areas, narrower and paler lines are often used to be less intrusive.