What is an Urban Clearway? Urban Clearway Sign Explained

Urban Clearway sign start

What is an Urban Clearway?

If you’re driving through a built-up area, you may come across an Urban Clearway sign. These signs are usually found in areas with heavy traffic and are designed to improve the flow of vehicles. The sign features a red circle with a white bar running through the middle, and at the bottom, you’ll see some times listed. But what does this sign mean, and when does it apply?

The Urban Clearway sign indicates that you’re not allowed to stop your vehicle on the road or at the side of the road during the times listed, except for picking up or dropping off passengers. This is because stopping or parking during peak traffic hours can cause congestion and delay other drivers. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to the sign and adhere to its restrictions.

Unlike other traffic signs, an Urban Clearway sign isn’t usually accompanied by road markings. Instead, you’ll see these signs placed at regular intervals along the clearway, with an “end” sign marking the end of the zone.

It’s also worth noting that the times listed on the sign may vary, depending on the specific location and traffic conditions. So, always make sure to check the sign carefully and adjust your driving accordingly.

In summary, an Urban Clearway sign is a traffic sign found in built-up areas that restricts stopping and parking during specific times to improve traffic flow. As a driver, it’s essential to pay attention to these signs to avoid getting into trouble and keep traffic moving smoothly.

Urban Clearway sign start
Urban Clearway sign end

You can tell when the Urban Clearway has ended when you see a sign reading, “End”.

Top Tip

When you come across an Urban Clearway sign that’s active, it’s generally required that you pay and display as well, as this is usually a popular stopping area.

This is especially clear and noticeable in some areas of London, so make sure to be observant and check other vehicles for parking tickets displayed on their windscreens.

Keep in mind that many parking meters now require payment by phone, so relying solely on other cars with displayed tickets is not always a foolproof guarantee. Additionally, it’s worth noting that these areas typically have a maximum parking time limit of 2-4 hours.

Can you park in an urban clearway?

An urban clearway is a type of road where stopping or parking is prohibited during certain hours of the day. Therefore, you cannot park in an urban clearway during the specified hours.

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You can park in an urban clearway outside of the restricted hours, but only if there are no other parking restrictions in place, such as double yellow lines, a bus lane, or a loading bay.

If you want to park in an urban clearway during the hours it’s restricted, you must pay and display at a parking meter or use a pay-by-phone service if available. Failure to do so will result in a parking ticket, and you will be breaking contravention code 46c. This applies to blue badge holders too.

It’s important to note that information about urban clearways, including when you can park and when you need to pay, is covered in the theory test for driving in the UK.

What are clearway restrictions?

Clearway restrictions refer to the rules and regulations in place for a specific type of road sign that indicates no stopping or parking is allowed. The specific restrictions depend on the type of clearway sign that’s displayed.

One of the most common types of clearway sign is the 24-hour clearway, also known as a no-stopping sign. This sign features a blue circle with a red cross in the centre, indicating that stopping or parking is not allowed at any time. Here’s an image of the 24-hour clearway sign:

24 hour Clearway Sign

In some cases, 24-hour clearways are also referred to as rural clearways, as they are often used on roads outside of urban areas. However, many urban roads without direct frontages also make use of the 24-hour clearway sign.

Another type of clearway sign is the red route clearway. Red routes are major roads in London that are managed by Transport for London (TfL), and they are identified by red lines along the edges of the road.

Red route clearways are indicated by a sign featuring a red cross on a blue background. These restrictions typically apply 24/7 and are enforced by TfL’s traffic enforcement officers.

What is a red route clearway?

A red route clearway is a type of clearway in London that’s enforced by Transport for London (TfL). Red routes are major roads in London that are managed by TfL, and they are identified by red lines along the edges of the road. Red route clearways are indicated by a sign featuring a red cross on a blue background.

Red route sign Clearway in London

The red route clearway restrictions apply at all times, including weekends and bank holidays. Stopping or parking is not allowed on the red route clearway, except in designated parking bays or where there are specific signs indicating that parking is allowed. Vehicles parked in contravention of the red route clearway restrictions may be issued a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and removed by TfL’s traffic enforcement officers.

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It’s important to be aware of red route clearway restrictions when driving in London, as these restrictions are strictly enforced and penalties for non-compliance can be significant.

What’s the difference between a red route and an Urban Clearway?

The main difference between a red route and an urban clearway is that red routes are specific major roads in London that are managed by Transport for London (TfL), while urban clearways can be found in various locations throughout the UK.

Red routes are identified by red lines along the edges of the road and have specific restrictions in place, including no stopping or parking at any time unless there are designated parking bays or specific signs indicating that parking is allowed. Red route restrictions are enforced by TfL’s traffic enforcement officers.

On the other hand, urban clearways are a type of road where stopping or parking is prohibited during certain hours of the day. Urban clearway signs are typically circular with a blue background and a red border, and the specific hours of operation will be indicated on the sign. Parking is not allowed during the restricted hours, but it may be allowed outside of these hours if there are no other parking restrictions in place.

While both red routes and urban clearways restrict stopping and parking, the main difference is that red routes are specific roads managed by TfL in London, while urban clearways can be found in various locations throughout the UK.

Frequently asked questions

On an urban clearway, stopping is only allowed for the purpose of dropping off or picking up passengers during its hours of operation. However, parking is not permitted during the peak times indicated on the clearway sign.

Clearways are implemented to ensure smooth traffic flow without the hindrance of parked vehicles. It’s prohibited to stop on a clearway, even if it’s just to drop off or pick up passengers.

Urban clearways have their hours of operation clearly indicated on the sign. While you can stop on an urban clearway during its hours of operation, it’s only allowed for the purpose of dropping off or picking up passengers, and parking is not permitted during the specified peak times.

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An Urban Clearway Monday to Friday refers to a period of operation in which stopping or parking a vehicle is not allowed on the road or side of the road, except for the purpose of dropping off or picking up passengers. Urban clearways are commonly found in built-up areas and have clearly designated hours of operation.

A no stopping sign, which is also known as a clearway sign, features a red cross indicating that stopping, loading or unloading is prohibited. Therefore, you cannot even drop off or pick up passengers where this sign is displayed.

In contrast, a no waiting sign indicates that you can load or unload passengers, but you are not allowed to wait for them to arrive. Typically, a single yellow line accompanies this sign.

You must never stop on a clearway, as these roads are designed to ensure the smooth flow of traffic without the obstruction of parked vehicles. Even a single parked vehicle can create an obstruction for other traffic, so it’s essential to avoid stopping on a clearway, even if it’s just to drop off or pick up passengers.

A clearway sign, also known as a ‘no stopping’ sign, prohibits all forms of stopping, including dropping off passengers. Conversely, a waiting restriction sign, often labeled as ‘no waiting’ or ‘no parking’, permits temporary stops such as unloading goods or letting out passengers but does not allow for longer stops.

Parking is not allowed on an urban clearway. The only exception to this rule is when there are marked bays designated for parking. Therefore, stopping or parking a vehicle on an urban clearway, except in designated parking bays, is strictly prohibited.