Scottish Parliament is being urged not to water down any new pavement parking laws, ahead of the Stage 3 debate of the Transport (Scotland) Bill on Wednesday (9 October).
The Scottish Parliament agreed in principle that a new law be passed to implement a nationwide footway parking bill back in April. However, the proposals include a blanket 20 minute exemption for delivery vehicles, which charities and disability groups want removed.
Living Streets Scotland, part of the UK charity for everyday walking, has written to Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson MSP calling for this loophole to be closed ahead of the Stage 3 debate of the Transport (Scotland) Bill, believing it will make the ban more difficult to enforce, will be open to abuse and will still cause damage and obstructions to footways.
This will be 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 for safer and more accessible streets.
Stuart Hay, Director of Living Streets Scotland, said:
“A nationwide ban on cars parking on pavements will create safer and more welcoming streets for all, no longer forcing anyone into the carriageway and oncoming traffic.
“It will give new freedom to older adults, people with wheelchairs and those living with sight loss who feel stuck in their homes as they’re not able to navigate their local streets. This is unless the blanket 20-minute exemption for delivery vehicles remains.
“We urge MSPs not to water down any new pavement laws with such a clause. This loophole undermines the goals of preventing obstruction and pavement damage, with a waiting time being incredibly impractical to enforce.
“This clause must be removed and replaced with powers for local authorities to exempt streets only where it is practical and necessary. MSPs need to take more time to consult with disability groups and delivery businesses to tackle issues around loading and unloading.”