If you have a question about cycling, ask Dr Dynamo and he’ll try to answer it.
Dear Dr Dynamo,
Every day I see motor vehicles which I suspect are parked illegally, but I’m not sure what the road signs and markings mean. Can you help?
Yours, Frances M, Arbury.
A small yellow plate parallel to the kerb is a ‘no waiting’ sign. ‘No waiting’ means that during the hours shown on the sign you can’t park (i.e. leave your car for an extended period) but you can stop to load or unload and to pick up or set down passengers. ‘No waiting’ signs are reinforced by yellow lines parallel to the kerb. Examples are everywhere.
A small white plate parallel to the kerb is a ‘no loading’ sign. ‘No loading’ means that during the hours shown on the sign you may not park nor may you stop to load or unload. However you can I think pick up or set down passengers. ‘No loading’ signs are reinforced by yellow lines perpendicular to the kerb. Examples all along Mill Road.
There’s also a new white plate, ‘loading only’, reinforced with a marked bay bearing the markings ‘loading only.’ This means ‘no waiting.’ Examples in Bridge Street.
A yellow, black and white sign perpendicular to the kerb (i.e. facing drivers) is an ‘urban clearway.’ This means more or less the same as ‘no loading’ – stopping to pick up and set down passengers is permitted. Examples in East Road.
A circular sign bearing a red diagonal on a blue background inside a red circle, perpendicular to the kerb, is a ‘clearway.’ This means no stopping: no waiting, no loading, no picking up and setting down passengers, nothing. Examples along the entire length of the A14.