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 Let’s get the pavement parking ban right, says charity

Scotland becomes the first UK nation to introduce a ban on pavement parking next week. From Monday (11 December 2023), drivers in Scotland can be fined £100 for parking on the footway.

Living Streets Scotland, part of the UK charity for everyday walking has called on local authorities in Scotland to implement the ban properly following concerns that some councils plan mass exemptions and have limited plans for enforcement. 

In a letter to local authorities, Stuart Hay, Director of Living Streets Scotland says mass exemptions would contradict Scottish Government guidance and conflict with obligations under the Equalities Act to protect older and disabled people.  

The issue was highlighted in the Scottish National Walking Survey 2023 where 46 per cent of people listed pavement parking as being a problem they encounter[1]. This level was similar to 2019 data, which also showed a fifth of people had to choose different walking routes due to obstruction.


Meanwhile, research by Living Streets found that a quarter of over 65s are prevented from leaving their home because of obstructed pavements[2] and 87 per cent of parents in Britain have been forced into the road because of vehicles blocking pavements.[3]


Stuart Hay, Director, Living Streets Scotland says:


“Parking on the footway is inconvenient for us all and incredibly dangerous for older and disabled people, who are forced into the road and oncoming traffic. Scotland is leading the way by becoming the first UK nation to say enough is enough and introduce an explicit ban, now we need to make sure we get it right.


“Mass exemptions seriously undermine the ban and will put people at risk if they aren’t introduced following rigorous assessments and consultation. Ongoing promotion of the ban and engagement with communities is also vital to ensure the implementation is effective.  


“Without sufficient enforcement capacity many groups including disabled people will feel badly let down. We want to see targeted and proactive action in known hotspots where pavements need cleared of obstructing cars.”

[2] Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Living Streets. Fieldwork Dates: 28 March - 2 April 2019. Unweighted base: All GB adults aged 65+ (1012).

[3] Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Living Streets. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st - 2nd November 2021. 

About the author

Kathryn Shaw

Head of Communications and Marketing, Living Streets / [email protected]