Road Traffic

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

Updates for 2023:

  • Changes to fines for illegal parking on a red route in London.

  • London Congestion Charging Scheme operating hours. 

  • Changes to the Highway Code.

  • High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes updated. 


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


  • Parking.

    • Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs).

    • Loading and unloading.

    • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) devices.

    • Postal PCNs.

    • Charges.

  • PCN levels outside London.
  • PCN levels in London.
    • Removal of vehicles.

    • Wheel clamping.

    • Overnight lorry parking.

    • Street cleansing.

    • Builders’ skips.

    • Marking of skips.

    • Trading near highways.

    • Off-street loading areas.

  • Loading and unloading.

    • Unnecessary obstruction.

    • Dangerous position.

    • Pavement parking.

    • London pavement parking ban.

    • Waiting, loading and unloading restrictions.

    • Stopping to load and unload.

    • Stopping at banned kerb.

    • Variations.

    • Urban clearways.

    • Red routes.

    • Rural clearways.

    • Advanced stop lines.

    • Bus stop clearways.

    • Zebra and pelican crossings.

    • Parking meter zones

    • Pedestrian precincts.

    • Junction safety experiments.

    • Priority vehicle lanes.

    • Bus lanes.

    • Cycle lanes.

    • Access for goods vehicles.

    • HOV lanes.

  • Estuarial crossings.

    • Dartford Crossing.

    • Mersey Crossing.

    • Tyne Tunnels.

    • Humber Crossing.

    • Severn Crossing.

  • General traffic requirements.

    • Accidents.

    • Broken-down vehicles.

    • Zebra crossings.

    • Pelican crossings.

    • Automatic level crossings.

    • Traffic surveys.

    • Road humps.

    • Advisory lorry routes.

    • Lorry control schemes.

    • ‘Except for access’ restrictions.

    • Permit schemes.

    • London Lorry Control Scheme.

    • London Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and HGV Safety Permit Scheme.

      • Obtaining a DVS star rating.

      • Safe system.

      • Permit application process.

      • Enforcement.

      • Tightening up of the scheme.

    • London congestion charging scheme.

      • Hours of operation.

      • Paying the charge.

      • Penalty charge notices.

      • Charge certificate.

      • Order for recovery.

      • Enforcement agents and bailiffs.

      • Fleet scheme.

      • Further information.

    • Weak bridges.

    • Daytime use of headlights.

  • Motorway driving.

    • Prohibited vehicles.

    • Speed limits.

    • Broken-down vehicles.

    • Warning signals.

    • Rural motorways.

    • Urban motorways.

    • Active traffic management.

    • Roadworks on motorways.

    • Motorway rules.

    • Highway Code.

    • Condition of vehicles.

    • Diversion signs.

    • Traffic Management Act.

  • 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.