Details can be found on this page on the regulations and general rules governing the controlled parking zones (CPZs). It should be noted that individual zones may have variations or additions to these 'general' rules. Please check the zones maps for each zone for further information.

There are entry and exit signs informing motorists that they are entering a controlled parking zone. This means that during the hours of control, stated on the sign, all on-street parking is controlled. It also means that parking is only permitted in designated parking spaces and the remainder of the kerbside space is subject to yellow line restrictions.


Hours of operation

Hours of operation

Parking controls operate at various times throughout the week and in some locations including the weekend.  Please click on the CPZ maps link above to select the appropriate CPZ area for more specific details. Outside of these times visitors are not required to pay to park. You should always check the signs displayed and not assume what times the parking controls operate.

Parking bays

Parking spaces are identified by white markings on the road. There are a variety of different parking bays in most CPZs, such as resident bays, pay and display bays, part shared use bays and shared use bays. Signs alongside each parking bay describe who may park there. With the exception of Wimbledon Town Centre, CPZs parking spaces do not apply on Sundays, Public and Bank Holidays.

Parking regulations

Single yellow line restrictions

Within a CPZ single yellow lines do not have sign plates unless they operate at different times. Therefore, all single yellow lines without time plates are operational at the same times as the CPZ. Single yellow lines with time plates will usually operate for longer - you must check the sign plate before parking.

Double yellow line restrictions

The Department of Transport has recently carried out a review of traffic and parking signs. As a result of this review, double yellow lines, which prohibit parking 'at any time', no longer need to be sign plated. In view of this change, motorists are asked to remember that:-

  • all double yellow line restrictions in the borough operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including Bank Holidays
  • they are enforceable whether or not there is a time plate in the vicinity indicating no waiting 'at any time'
  • double yellow lines are sited for safety reasons, in areas where parking could cause a serious obstruction, so please avoid parking where these restrictions apply.

There are exit signs showing when you are leaving the controlled zone. Restrictions for that zone apply until you pass the 'Zone Ends' sign. However, you should be aware that some restrictions, such as yellow line waiting restrictions, may apply outside controlled parking zones. You should also be aware that many zones are immediately adjacent to each other, and look out for further zone entry signs and bay signs, before assuming an area is unrestricted or of same restrictions.

Please note that controlled zones apply only to the public highway; they do not apply to private roads including some council estate roads. If you are unsure whether your road is public highway please telephone the Highways and Engineering team on 020 8545 3829.

Pavement parking

Parking on the pavement or verge is potentially dangerous to pedestrians and causes damage. Any vehicle, including motorcycles, parked on the pavement is liable to receive a Penalty Charge Notice. In the few locations where parking on the pavement is allowed, it is clearly indicated by signs and road markings.

Suspension of parking spaces

In certain circumstances, parking bays may be suspended for a short period of time, for example for removal purposes.  If you require a parking suspension or single yellow line dispensation, please contact Parking Services on:020 8545 4661.  At a minimum, we require 4 full working days notice and you are advised to read the.Dispensation and Waivers page for further information.


Please note that all permits are chargeable.  Further details of prices and other information can be found on the permits home page, and then by clicking on the relevant links.  

Business permits

Businesses may purchase up to two permits, subject to meeting the council's criteria, terms and conditions.  

Resident permits

Each resident living within the CPZ who keeps and uses a vehicle may apply for a parking permit. A resident permit allows the holder to park in any Resident Permit Holder space or Shared Use space within their zone.

Resident Visitor permits

When other methods of visitor parking are not suitable, residents may purchase Resident Visitor Permits for use by their guests. The Council provides half day and full day permits.
The council also provides one annual visitor permit per household, currently at a cost of £140.00

Permit display

Permits must always be displayed when the vehicle occupies a parking space during the controlled hours. Failure to display a permit may result in the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice.

Although a reminder letter may be sent, it is the responsibility of the permit holder to apply for their new permit at least two weeks before the old one expires. Proof of vehicle ownership and residency/company address is required for each permit renewal.

Permits are not transferable as they show the registration number of the vehicle for which they are issued. Therefore any change of vehicle or loss of permit must be reported to the permit team on 020 8545 4661 immediately for a new permit to be arranged.

Motorcycles are not required to display a permit and can park free in most parking bays as long as they do not occupy the whole bay exclusively.

Drivers/Passengers with disabilities are not required to display a permit providing that a valid Disabled Blue Badge is displayed. Residents with a Blue Badge, living within a zone, are entitled to a permit free of charge upon application.

Shared use bays

In most of the roads in the CPZ visitors are permitted to share bays with permit holders by purchasing a ticket from a Pay & Display machine.

All Pay and Display machines accept a variety of coins and will only allow purchase of up to the permitted maximum stay for that parking bay.



Enforcement of the permitted parking spaces, the yellow line waiting and loading restrictions and other parking offences (except those on Red Routes) is carried out by the council's Parking Enforcement Team. Uniformed Civil Enforcement officers regularly patrol the zone in order to minimise illegal parking.

The Civil Enforcement Officer also take notes to detect permit abuse, 'meter feeding' (motorists returning to put more money into the Pay and Display machine) or the return of a vehicle to the same parking space within the 'no return' period, which are offences.

Vehicles contravening the parking regulations will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) which carry various charges ranging from £60 to £110, depending on the offence code.  This charge is however, discounted by 50% if paid within 14 days from the date of issue.  Click on the link for further information about Penalty Charges. In certain circumstances vehicles may be removed.

See also: Parking and Moving Traffic Enforcement Policies

Drivers and vehicles


Motorcycles may park free of charge and without time limit in any motorcycle bays.  Within the borough of Merton, when using permit holder bays, shared use bays and pay & display bays, motorcycles must be parked at right angles to the kerb (with the front/back wheel facing the kerb) and at the end of a marked bay. This would enable other motorists (that need to pay and display), to use any available bays. In addition, there are several solo motorcycle bays in the zone and in most car parks; motorcyclists are asked to use these whenever possible in consideration for other road users. Motorcycles should not be parked on the footway.

Please check the website regularly for any changes to the above information.

Drivers/Passengers with disabilities

A person with a disability may park his/her vehicle without payment or time limit in any permitted parking space in the zone (resident, business or shared use), providing a valid Blue Badge is displayed and the bay in question has not been suspended. Blue Badge holders are allowed to park for up to 3 hours on single and double yellow lines, except where loading restrictions are in force, provided the blue time clock is displayed with the Blue Badge. In addition, there are often several disabled parking bays in the CPZ. Residents within a zone and with a blue badge are recommended to apply for a permit which is issued free of charge.

Trade vehicles

Many traders pay to park their vehicles in a Pay and Display bay whilst carrying out work in the controlled zone. Others use Resident Visitor permits supplied by the resident, or apply for a parking dispensation.

Loading and unloading

A vehicle is permitted to wait while delivering/collecting goods or loading/unloading goods or equipment. However there are two conditions:

  • It must be necessary for the vehicle to park where it does, not merely convenient
  • The driver may only park for as long as is necessary to collect/deliver goods or load/unload.

A vehicle may wait for a maximum of 20 minutes in any parking space. An exception to this is for furniture removal vans, which may wait for longer whilst being loaded/unloaded. A vehicle may wait on a yellow line as long as may be necessary (subject to a 20 minute maximum), except where loading/unloading is specially prohibited for example; on the approaches either side of a pedestrian crossing (identified by zigzag markings) or where there are yellow 'blip' markings on the kerb. These provisions do not cover: - popping into a shop - using a cash machine - stopping to visit a toilet. The improper use of hazard lights does not prevent a Penalty Charge Notice from being issued. Vehicles must be moved on instruction from a Police Officer, Traffic Warden or Civil Enforcement Officer.  

Red Routes

On many major roads in London yellow lines have been replaced with red lines. There are a number of roads in this borough designated as Red Route. Waiting restrictions on these roads, and their 'run-offs' into side roads, are enforced by the Police Traffic Warden Service not by the council. Illegal parking on a Red Route may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) being issued  by Transport for London (TfL).


Since September 2004, the council has been able to enforce parking at dropped kerbs in areas where no controls apply and at times when controls are not in operation.

Up until then, the council was only able to enforce parking across dropped kerbs at the entrance to private driveways and across dropped kerbs at junctions, when a yellow line restriction was in force. Outside these times, or when there is no restriction in place at all, the Metropolitan Police Traffic Warden Service was responsible for the enforcement of obstructive parking. Nevertheless, the problem of vehicles parking inconsiderately remained.

Representations are received from disabled and mobility groups about parking near junctions which inconveniences and endangers pedestrians and other road users by obstructing lines of sight and making it difficult for vehicles to safely turn the corner. The London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act enables local authorities to issue Penalty Charge Notices to vehicles parked across dropped kerbs at junctions, and across driveways, both within and outside controlled parking zones. Enforcement action will be taken against vehicles parked across driveways on request of the occupier of the property.


Some parents have to or choose to drive their children to and from school and will get out to escort their children from the car to the gate, particularly if it involves crossing a busy road.

A shortage of parking spaces nearby can often compound problems. We would urge you to park in marked bays, but we realise this can be difficult. If you think that you are going to require more time than it takes to drop your child off, for example if you are going to speak to a teacher, then you must buy a pay and display ticket.

The observance of School Keep Clear markings is important for child safety. No driver should stop on the zig-zag markings during the stated times, including parents collecting/delivering children. The enforcement officer is instructed to issue PCNs to any vehicle stopping on School Keep Clear markings. In addition, waiting restrictions apply during the zone operational hours.

The best way to alleviate parking difficulties around schools is to reduce the number of cars on the school run. The council's School Travel Strategy promotes walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing for the journey to school, with a view to improving health, safety and the environment. Please visit the Road Safety web page to find out more.


Contact us

Contact Parking Services