In the UK, red routes are major roads in urban areas, stopping,
loading or unloading a vehicle is not allowed by law or only when
the adjacent signs state that vehicles can park - the days and
times will usually be stated on the sign.
It is the authorities aim to ease the flow of traffic on these
thoroughfares. A Red Route has continuous red lines painted along
the road, these can either be a single line or double red lines and
they are always next to the kerb.
Red routes are especially common in town and city centres and
may be found in some areas instead of yellow lines.
What can you do on a Red Route?
Red routes warn motorist’s that you cannot stop to park, load,
unload or board and alight from a vehicle (except for a licensed
taxi or if you hold a blue badge).
You should also remember that the red lines apply to the verge,
pavement and the carriageway and if you park on a red route you
will be violating a traffic law.
Normally an upright sign will be in the vicinity of the red
route lines and the times that you are prohibited from being in a
red route will be stated on a text plate, however if the red route
has a double red line then it is against the law to stop at this
point at any time.
There are occasional times when motorists are permitted to park
on a red route, load/unload. You can do so in specially marked
boxes, these bays will have adjacent signs, which specify the
times, purposes and duration allowed.
Defining the Red Lines
- Double red lines – You must not stop your vehicle at any time
as it is not permitted (normally at important junctions, or at bus
- Single red lines – You may stop at this point but only when
permitted to do so by the times given on an adjacent sign.
- Red route clearway – You must not stop unless in a lay-by that
you are permitted to do so by an adjacent sign. (Red lines are only
marked at junctions)
Parking on a Red Route
If the box is outlined in red then you may park in it but only
for the purpose specified on the nearby sign for part of the day.
For example this is usually for delivery drivers and parking is
usually only permitted between busy peak periods.
If the box is painted in white then you may park in it
throughout the day, however it is best to consult the adjacent
sign, as there may be strict sanctions on when and how long you can
Buses On a Red Route
In London, the Red Route is kept free in peak hours so that
buses can flow freely around the city.
If you use a red route during peak hours or park illegally on a
Red Route you could get fined either by CCTV cameras monitoring the
Red Routes or by "Red Route Patrols."