What is a clearway and when may you stop on one?

Have you ever been driving along and seen a road sign that you’re not familiar with? They can’t all be as on-the-nose as the “No racing by Horse drawn vehicles” sign in Tangmere just outside Chichester on the A27. Or perhaps you’ve been given a parking fine for stopping somewhere you didn’t know was a no-parking zone? You could have fallen foul to a clearway, and if you’re not sure what one of these is, let Scrap Car Comparison guide you through.

If you’re nervous that you could end up breaking down in the middle of a clearway, then perhaps it’s time to get something newer and more reliable. If selling your current car looks like a task you’re just not prepared to undertake, then let Scrap Car Comparison take all of that concern away. All it takes is one call to our team of friendly experts and we’ll have the best price in your area in as little as 60 seconds. 

Clearway road sign in front of trees

What is a clearway?

A clearway is a stretch of road, usually one that’s regularly quite busy and vehicles stopping would be a fairly major inconvenience, where stopping is forbidden at any time. A clearway will always be defined by a circular sign showing a red cross on a blue background. One of these signs will appear at the start of the section, before appearing again at the end with another sign saying “end”.

What is an urban clearway?

An urban clearway is very similar to a standard clearway, but does not feature the parking restrictions 24/7. Instead, the restrictions are only in force throughout “peak” times – usually Monday-Friday but often including Saturday and between 7:00 and 9:30 in the mornings and 4:00 and 6:00 in the evenings. Unlike a full clearway, you are allowed to stop to drop off and pick up passengers during these times, but not for any other reason or for any longer than that.

What is a red route?

Red routes are somewhere in between a clearway and an urban clearway, and are often only found in major cities. They are also much more strictly enforced, with penalty fines set at £160 in London – although this is halved if paid within two weeks. They are defined by red lines at the side of the road in place of the usual white or yellow that we’re accustomed to across the country. A single red line denotes that the system is only in place part-time, whereas a double red means it is a permanent 24/7 red route. Only taxis or holders of Blue Badge parking permits may stop on red routes.

They were first established in London in 1991 and now account for 5% of all roads in the capital, managed by Transport for London. The first non-London red routes began in the West Midlands in 2003, with Leeds also implementing them in 2019. There is a similar scheme in Edinburgh, although in some places (predominantly bus routes) these are known as ‘greenways’ due to the usage of a green road surface in place of red lines. 

When can you stop on a clearway?

In short, never. A clearway is there specifically to stop you from, well, stopping and stopping for any reason whatsoever is going to be breaking those rules. However, if you are able to find a lay-by, then you are able to park in this, but you may not park on the side of the road at any time in a clearway. If your car breaks down, then you must have it removed from the carriageway, whether that’s by towing or simply pushing it out of the way, as soon as possible.

Can you stop to drop off passengers on a clearway?

No you may not – if you’re in a full clearway, then stopping is a no-no, no matter what it is you’re doing. If you’re dropping someone off at the start of the working day in an urban clearway, however, then this is okay, as urban clearways have slightly more leeway in that regard.

What happens if you’re caught stopping on a clearway?

If you’re caught stopping on a clearway then you can expect a slap on the wrist and fewer pennies in your bank account as it will be enforced like any parking fine would be. Don’t think you can get around the rules by parking off the road and onto the verge either, as this still technically falls within the boundary of the clearway and you could still be, very correctly, fined.

If your car recently conked out on a clearway and you’re now facing a hefty repair bill and a parking fine, then maybe you’ll be wanting to get shot of the car sooner rather than later – and Scrap Car Comparison is here to make this as simple as possible. With our team of experts on hand, all it takes is one phone call to find out just how much you could make from your broken old car. Better yet, with collection agents operating in 99% of UK postcodes, we’ll even come and pick your car up absolutely free of charge. Get started today and see how much your car could be worth!

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