Scotland Becomes First UK Country to Introduce Pavement Parking Ban

Author: Mitchells Roberton
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At the moment pavement parking or double parking are not specific offences in Scotland but on 10th October 2019 Scottish Ministers voted in favour of section four of the Transport (Scotland) Bill which contains provisions to prohibit these actions. As of 2021, drivers will no longer be able to park on the pavement in Scotland. The Bill also contains provisions for the creation of low emissions zones in four Scottish cities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee) as well as promising improved bus services.

A charity, Living Streets Scotland, has welcomed the ruling as has the charity Guide Dogs Scotland. Living Streets have been arguing that cars partially parked on the pavement can act as a major obstacle for less mobile individuals, including the elderly and wheelchair users forcing them into traffic. Adults pushing prams also suffer the same difficulties. They further claim that a ban of cars parking on the pavements could save the local councils significant sums in having to repair damaged pavements, due to the weight of cars.

The director, Stuart Hay, of Living Streets Scotland said the ruling “to make cars on pavements a thing of the past will help to create safer and more welcoming streets for all.”

As well as offering huge financial savings to local councils who are charged with fixing footpaths damaged by the weight of vehicles, it will give new freedom to people in wheelchairs, parents with pushchairs and older people who are currently forced into oncoming traffic when they’re faced with a vehicle blocking their path.

A simple national ban which covers all pavements offers the best way to change behaviour and sends the message parking on pavements is socially unacceptable.  We urge MSPs to now ensure the bill is not watered down. Practical plans and resources, including the proposed national publicity campaign, should be put in place to ensure the bill is enacted efficiently.”

The new legislation does however contain a contentious clause which allows delivery vehicles to park on the pavement for up to 20 minutes at a time. Stuart Hay comments:

Our concern around the blanket 20-minute exemption for delivery vehicles remains. This clause undermines the goals of preventing obstruction and pavement damage, whilst the enforcement of a waiting time is incredibly impractical.”

The Government should now ensure that supporting guidance and regulations on this exception makes enforcement a simple and practical matter. Parking for loading must be simple to regulate or enforce if councils are to engage with the problem.”

Joe Irvin, Chief Executive, of Living Streets states:

The Scottish Government has demonstrated a commitment to accessibility for all by passing this law. England and Wales should not delay in following Scotland’s lead.”

“It’s high time that everyone can use our streets safely and enjoy the benefits that come from being active , outside and connected to their local community.”

The decision, however, is not without its controversy. Some motorists say they park on the pavement to stop their car blocking the road or to make sure there is access for emergency vehicles.

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