Scotland has passed a ban on pavement parking - now we must make sure it's fit for purpose

Scotland made history on 10 October 2019 by introducing a nationwide ban on pavement parking.

However, guidance on how local authorities should implement the ban is still being drafted by the Scottish Government's Road Policy Team.

And Living Streets Scotland and our allies are working closely to ensure they get it right.

COVID 19 and our concern that the ban could be undermined by the breadth of exemptions councils are allowed to make have delayed implementation.

The Government consultation on pre-implementation directions and regulations for local authorities closed in March 2022. And while we are reassured to learn that any exemptions to the ban will have to be accompanied by an Equality Impact Assessment, we are keeping a close eye on proceedings.

News: Scotland becomes first UK nation to ban pavement parking

Take urgent action!

Reclaim Our Pavements

The Scottish government is currently consulting on the ban - and its proposals would mean the ban not coming into affect until December 2024.

We must speak out! The timescale for implementing any technical changes must accommodate taking forward the ban on pavement parking before the end of 2023. Further delays to enacting legislation passed in November 2019 would be unacceptable.

Please take a moment to object to the proposed timeline via the consultation before 14 June. We suggest you skip the questions to the final one (Q6) - to say that the appeals procedure must be introduced much sooner.

Respond to the consultation now

The ban is the culmination of over a decade of campaigning by Living Streets Scotland and disablity charities - and is thanks to your support.

It means that people in wheelchairs, parents with pushchairs and older adults who are currently forced into oncoming traffic when faced with vehicles blocking their path will now be able to enjoy a new freedom.

It also stands to offer huge savings to cash-strapped councils currently faced with fixing footways damaged by vehicles parking on them.

What next?

We remain concerned that implementation of the ban has been delayed by COVID-19’s impact on local government transport departments.

This has prevented the council’s surveying streets to determine where exemptions might be justified and acceptable. We urge the Scottish Government to:

1. Set a deadline for bringing the law into force not later than the end of 2023

2. Provide strong guidance which prevents councils exempting any street from the ban where this would have a negative impact on people with disabilities

3. Develop a powerful publicity campaign and behaviour change programme aimed at drivers and start this well in advance of the ban coming into force

4. Ensure every council has the capacity to enforce the ban and respond to reports of pavement parking

5. Commit to monitoring the impact of the ban including baseline studies of streets and public opinions

Issues with Pavement Parking

  1. Why is it a problem
  2. What are the costs incurred by pavement parking?
  3. Who is responsible for enforcing pavement parking bans?
  4. Is the government going to change the legislation on pavement parking?
  • Pavement parking is a pain for everyone, but it’s particularly an issue for those with mobility problems, parents with pushchairs and older people, who may fear leaving their homes as they feel unsafe.

    As well as making it difficult for people to use their streets, it can also cause substantial damage to pavements, which costs councils tens of thousands of pounds each year to repair.

  • Currently these costs are not officially recorded. However, our community street audits often reveal pavements that have been wrecked and the prime suspect is parking by vehicles.

    Damaged pavements create trip hazards that lead to trips and falls. This puts pressure on the NHS. Clearing pavements will give many vulnerable people the confidence to walk on their local streets. Reduced inactivity can only benefit the NHS.

    In Scotland, with the progress of the Transport (Scotland) Bill, we are calling on the Scottish Parliament to fund costs of introducing the new laws on a national basis.

  • In most areas your local council, or civil enforcement officers contracted on their behalf, are responsible for enforcing pavement parking bans.

    However, they will only do this where there is yellow lines and signs, which you can request.

    In some cases, Police Scotland will tackle obstructions but generally won’t take action because existing laws are unclear and it’s difficult to secure a prosecution.

    This is why new laws are needed.

  • The Scottish Parliament has agreed that existing laws in Scotland need to change. There was a consultation in 2016 to inform a draft government bill in 2017.

    Living Streets Scotland worked with supporters and other charities to make sure the legislation was effective in protecting pedestrians, from footway parking, blocked dropped kerbs and double-parking.

    A bill was passed in 2019 to implement a nationwide footway parking ban, so practical plans and resources should now be put in place to ensure the bill is enacted efficiently.

The story so far

How we have stood up for pedestrians in Scotland.

im Pavement parking Pavements for people Example of pavement parking Parking Cowgate

Footway Parking Banned in London. The rest of the country, including Scotland, are not included in legislation.

Living Streets Scotland and Guide Dogs Scotland form the Responsible Parking Alliance, bringing together 20 NGOs to lobby for change.

New responsible parking bill introduced by Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, supported by 95% of consultation responses including support for action on double parking.

Living Streets Scotland and Guide Dogs Scotland seek legal advice on whether the Scottish Parliament has powers over parking and begin work on a draft bill for Sandra White MSP.

Spring 2015
Footway and Double Parking Bill introduced by Sandra White MSP. Presiding Officer confirms lack of powers to pass the bill.

Winter 2015
Scottish Parliament Local Government Committee takes evidence on the bill, hearing from organisations including Living Streets Scotland.

4 December 2015
Scottish Government back changes in the law and begin work on securing powers.

20 January 2016
Lord McAvoy seeks to amend the Scotland Bill; Scotland Minister Lord Dunlop agrees to come back with changes.

8 February 2016
Local Committee Government group backs a change in the law with the Footway Parking and Double Parking (Scotland) Bill. 

23 February 2016
Scotland Bill amended by House of Lords to finally give the Scottish Parliament powers over parking.

1 March 2016
Principles of the Footway Parking Bill unanimously agreed by All MSPs but progress halts as term of parliament ends.

April 2016
The SNP and Scottish Green Party manifestos propose a ban on footway parking.

May 2016
Majority of MSPs in new Scottish Parliament elected on manifestos that commit to banning footway parking.

June 2016
New Transport Minister Humza Yousaf reiterates plans to progress legislation on footway parking.

May 2018
Results from a consultation launched the previous autumn reveal that 83% of respondents support a ban on pavement parking.

June 2018
The Transport (Scotland) Bill is published. It proposes the introduction of a Scotland-wide ban on pavement and double parking to make it easier for local authorities to ensure pavements and roads are safer and more accessible to all.

10 October 2019
The Scottish Parliament pass a bill to implement a nationwide footway parking ban.

What's our POLICY?

Pavement Parking

our work in Scotland

Living Streets Scotland