Pick-up and drop-off times are busy outside schools. This can cause an increased safety risk to both children and parents.
Parking restrictions outside schools are there to keep you and your children safe. Parking inconsiderately can put people in danger and you also risk being fined. It’s important that motorists follow the Highway Code.
Parking restrictions outside schools
Understanding yellow zigzag markings
Most school entrances and exits in the UK have yellow zigzag road markings with the writing ‘School Keep Clear’.
Zigzags can also be found at entrances and exits of hospitals, fire stations, police stations and ambulance stations. They indicate the part of the road where motorists should not wait, stop, or park a vehicle.
Sometimes there may be an accompanying sign that shows specific times when these restrictions are in place. Motorists are legally allowed to park on the zigzags outside of these hours.
Both yellow and white zigzags also show areas that must be kept clear so that children and other road users can see clearly when crossing the road.
Parking on yellow zigzags
You can legally park on yellow zigzags under certain circumstances.
Yellow zigzags without accompanying signs advise motorists not to wait or park there at any time for the safety of children and others. We can and do issue tickets for parking on them, based on causing an obstruction to other motorists or pedestrians.
Some yellow zigzags have a single or double yellow line, which indicate different parking restrictions.
You can legally you can park opposite yellow zigzags. However, this can make crossing the road more dangerous, especially for children. Some schools have yellow zigzags on both sides of the road for this reason.
Safety tips for parking outside schools
When picking up or dropping off children at schools, you should do the following:
Allow yourself plenty of time as the area is likely to be busy.
Do not park on yellow zigzag lines and avoid parking opposite them.
If you decide to park further away, please be considerate of local residents and avoid blocking driveways or accessways.
Local councils can issue motorists with penalty charge notices (PCN) for waiting, stopping, or parking on yellow zigzags if restrictions are in place. These are issued by civil enforcement officers.
Most parking or waiting fines are now enforced as a civil matter, rather than a police matter. A PCN does not result in a criminal record or points on a licence if dealt with by the council.
In some areas, the local council doesn't have civil parking enforcement powers. In these areas parking is enforced by the us or by police-employed traffic wardens who will issue a fixed penalty notice (FPN). These are enforced through the criminal justice system.
Fines can vary depending on location. Stopping in a restricted area outside a school will result in a higher fine. The fee is also halved if paid within 14 days and you have 28 days to pay or challenge the fine.