You may need to stop somewhere to load or unload your vehicle - find out where you can and can't do this in Lambeth. If you don't follow the rules for loading and unloading you may receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

As soon as you are finished loading or unloading you must move your vehicle. Our Civil Enforcement Officers (CEO) are instructed to observe vehicles for five minutes to see if loading is taking place. If you see a CEO you should let them know what you are doing.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Where you can load and unload

In Lambeth loading and unloading is allowed on:

Yellow lines

Unless loading restrictions are in force, you may load and unload on single or double yellow lines for as long as necessary before 11am, and for up to 40 minutes after 11am. Loading or unloading must be continuous.

Loading restrictions are identified by yellow stripes (chevrons) on the kerb:

  • double stripes mean loading restrictions are in force at all times
  • single stripes mean no loading and unloading during certain times. The times you can't load or unload will be displayed on a time plate nearby

Parking bays

You can stop to load and unload on pay and display and residents' bays for a maximum of 20 minutes during controlled hours.

Loading or unloading must be continuous and you should remove your vehicle once loading or unloading is completed. There are no restrictions outside of the controlled hours. The controlled hour times are displayed on a time plate.

Loading bays

In loading bays there is a maximum stay of 20 minutes. Activity must be constant - if no activity is seen for five minutes then a penalty charge notice may be issued.

Disabled bays

A maximum of 20 minutes is allowed for loading or unloading in a disabled bay.

You should avoid loading and unloading in a disabled bay as priority goes to disabled drivers.

Bus lanes

You can load or unload in a bus lane for a maximum of 20 minutes.

There must be someone with your vehicle at all times. Remove the vehicle immediately once you've finished loading or unloading.

As bus lanes are essential to keep traffic moving, you should avoid these where possible.


You may stop your vehicle on a pavement to load and unload if there is no other place to stop.

Avoid causing any obstructions to other vehicles and leave enough space for pedestrians and emergency services. Do not leave the vehicle unattended and move the vehicle if asked.

Setting down or picking up people and luggage

Unless there is a ban on stopping, you may stop to let passengers get in or out of your vehicle. However, this shouldn't be for longer than two minutes.

Unless there is good reason the driver should stay with the vehicle.

2. Where you can't load and unload

You are not allowed to load or unload in:

  • yellow lines where loading restrictions are in force (chevrons on the kerbside)
  • diplomatic parking bays
  • taxi bays *a solo motorcycle bay
  • a suspended parking bay (unless you have requested the suspension and arranged to load and unload here)
  • white zig-zags at pedestrian crossings
  • restricted areas outside schools at displayed times
  • Clearways such as bus stops and taxi ranks. A clearway is marked by a red 'X' on a blue background

Red routes

Red routes are not governed by local authorities. Visit the Transport for London website for information.