The Scottish Parliament has today (4 April 2019) agreed in principle that a new law be passed to implement a nationwide footway parking ban.
Living Streets Scotland, part of the UK charity for everyday walking has campaigned for a Scotland-wide ban on pavement and double parking to make it easier for local authorities to ensure our streets are safe and accessible for all. The charity has welcomed today’s ruling and urged England and Wales counterparts to follow suit.
Under current legislation, footway/pavement parking or double parking are not specific offences in Scotland but section four of the Transport (Scotland) Bill voted on today contains provisions to prohibit these actions. The bill replaces current laws on obstruction and pavement parking which are unenforceable.
It will be welcome news to the 83 per cent of people who responded to the consultation on the bill felt to say they felt new legislation was required.
Stuart Hay, Director, Living Streets Scotland comments:
“Today’s 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 footways 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 that 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.
“Our main concern is a blanket 20-minute exemption for delivery vehicles. This dispensation undermines the goals of preventing obstruction and pavement damage. We agree with Scottish councils who believe that enforcement of this waiting time is impractical. This clause must be removed.
“The relevant powers in England and Wales should take a lead from today’s monumental ruling.”
The ruling comes in the same week that the Transport Select Committee launched an inquiry into pavement parking in England.
Stephen Edwards, Director of Policy and Communications, Living Streets comments:
“Pavement parking is incredibly dangerous for those in wheelchairs, those living with sight loss and parents with buggies – forcing them into the road and oncoming traffic. It is the one issue we are contacted most about at Living Streets, with older people especially reporting that they’re unable to leave the house because of vehicles blocking their pavements.
“The Scottish Government has demonstrated a commitment to accessibility and to improving their streets for walking by passing this law. It would be remiss not to follow suit in England and Wales.
“Pavement parking is currently illegal in London, it’s high time that this is rolled out across England and Wales so that everyone can use our streets safely and enjoy the benefits that come from walking more.”