The Scottish Parliament has today (10 October 2019) passed a bill 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 parking.
The charity has applauded today’s historic decision and urged England and Wales to follow suit.
Stuart Hay, Director, Living Streets Scotland comments:
“This is the first nationwide ban put in place in the UK and represents the culmination of over a decade of campaigning by Living Streets Scotland and disability charities.
"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 charged with fixing footways damaged by vehicles parking on them.
“Practical plans and resources, including the proposed national publicity campaign, should now be put in place to ensure the bill is enacted efficiently. England and Wales should look to take a lead from today’s monumental decision.”
Ahead of the Stage 3 debate of the Transport (Scotland) Bill, the charity urged MSPs to remove a clause which would see a blanket 20 minute exemption for delivery vehicles, believing it would make the ban more difficult to enforce, be open to abuse and would still cause damage and obstructions to footways. This clause will not be removed following the debate.
Stuart Hay continues:
“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.
“We will work with the Scottish Government as it finalises its guidance, and with local authorities, disability groups and communities to ensure the ban is implemented effectively.”
Joe Irvin, Chief Executive, Living Streets comments:
“Pavement parking is the one issue we are contacted most about at Living Streets, with older adults especially reporting that they’re unable to leave their homes because of vehicles blocking their pavements and leaving no room for mobility aids.
“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.”