Stuart Hay, Director of Living Streets Scotland has been leading a campaign to tackle parking on pavements north of the border. With the Scottish elections less than 100 days away he thinks it’s time for politicians to make a firm commitment to protecting vulnerable pedestrians.
At Living Streets Scotland we’re committed to removing barriers to everyday walking, especially those affecting vulnerable pedestrians. We have been campaigning against pavement parking since 2009.
Pavement parking means that disabled people, as well as parents with push chairs, are forced to walk on the road. This is often distressing and dangerous and a very real barrier to walking for less confident people. A change in the law is long overdue.
We’ve been supporting the Responsible Parking Bill on its way through Parliament, but the timetable means it’s unlikely to get the stamp of approval before the election in May.
We’re pleased to see cross-party support for a new law backed by Holyrood’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee, who noted that the current situation makes it impossible for councils and Police Scotland to tackle the problem. We now need all the parties to make this support clear in their election manifestos.
Scotland is lagging behind in tackling this barrier to walking. London imposed restrictions on pavement parking (with limited and carefully considered exemptions) in 1974. Parking on all most all dropped kerbs, was banned across England in 2004.
We believe further delay must be avoided, and a firm commitment to action and defined timeline is vital to make walking a more pleasant experience for more vulnerable people.