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In UK some bus stops have red road markings where the whole bus stop rectangle has a red background--what does it mean? Sometimes I see it on single lane roads so "no entry" into that area did not make much sense.

This is definitely not a bus lane or red route. An example can be seen in this image from Google Street View, where there is technically no way to avoid it.

Red road surface

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    Despite living in the UK, I have not seen this. A guess is that it means a higher than usual penalty for obstructing it. For example, double red lines have the same meaning as double yellow lines except for a higher penalty. – badjohn May 5 '18 at 18:22
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    Could you give an example from, for instance, google streetview? – Gray Taylor May 5 '18 at 19:03
  • @badjohn Double red lines do not have the same meaning as double yellow lines. Double yellows mean "No waiting (including with the engine running)" although you can stop for long enough to pick someone up if they are waiting for you. Double red lines mean No stopping, at all, for any purpose except traffic conditions. – Andrew Leach May 5 '18 at 23:47
  • @AndrewLeach Yes, I should have said "similar" rather than "same". I had in mind that the significance of single and double lines was the same for red and yellow but the penalties were higher for red. I had forgotten that the list of prohibited behaviour was also slightly larger. – badjohn May 6 '18 at 9:01
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In such cases as the picture in the link he red road marking has no legal force it is just used to highlight the area of the bus bay. Some councils do this in particular bus stops when there is a particular problem with illegal parking.

Consideration should be given to applying a contrasting surface colour within bus stop areas at selected stops where the level of parking infringement within the bus bay has proved to be a particular problem.The most suitable and readily available colour is red.

Source Bus Stop design guide for Northern Ireland ! it is borrowing from the use of red routes colour scheme though.

The actual bus stop is designated by the dotted yellow lines and the road marking bus stop as illustrated in Highway Code Guide to Road Marking this puts in place parking restrictions in such bus stops.

On a single lane road where such bus stops and marking exist cars can pass through such a stop as long as they do not parking in it or obstruct a bus trying to use it.

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    The solid yellow line probably has a corresponding "No stopping on bus stop" plate, which might be just visible against the wall half-way along the bus-stop rectangle. – Andrew Leach May 5 '18 at 23:54
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    @AndrewLeach There is a sign attached to the bus shelter which more clearly says 'no stopping except buses'. – richardb May 6 '18 at 7:09

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