Road Traffic

This chapter covers parking (including vehicle removal fees), loading and unloading, estuarial crossings, general traffic requirements and motorway driving.

Updates for 2024:

  • Updated CCTV parking fine enforcement.

  • Updated Civil Enforcement Officers roles in relation to dual functions.

  • Updated information on loading and unloading.

  • Included definition of ‘owner’ in relation to skips.

  • Direct Vision Standard Phase Two implementation.


Download the road traffic chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law


  • Parking.

  • Loading and unloading.

  • Estuarial crossings.

  • General traffic requirements.

  • Motorway driving.

  • Dealing with adverse weather conditions.

Download the road traffic chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law


Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) gives local authorities responsibility for enforcing on-street parking controls instead of the police. On 31 March 2008 new parking rules came into force under Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004. All local authorities across England and Wales are now primarily responsible for parking enforcement within their geographical areas.

Loading and unloading

A vehicle stationary while goods are loaded or unloaded is not normally deemed to be causing an unnecessary obstruction, provided it is parked in a reasonable and proper manner. So if there is no specific ban on loading and unloading, drivers can assume they are free to do so, provided they do not stop in a dangerous position, or cause unnecessary obstruction. Where traffic conditions warrant it, a police officer in uniform or a CEO can require the vehicle to be moved. Such a direction must be complied with.

General Traffic Requirements

Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 sets out the legal obligations on drivers involved in road traffic accidents

Motorway Driving

Variable speed limits are in force on the M25 London Orbital motorway between junction 10 (A3 intersection) and junction 15 (M4 intersection). Sensors along the road detect when traffic is building up, and automatically activate the variable speed limit signs on overhead gantries and at the roadside, reducing the limit to 60mph, 50mph, or 40mph according to conditions.