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How to

Explain a Red Route

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. If driving through London red routes are prevalent as the local authorities want public transport to flow.


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 stops).
  • 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 park for.

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."

Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated March 2016.