Living Streets Scotland has today (10 September) submitted evidence to Scottish Parliament on the costs of the Transport (Scotland) Bill and action to bring forward a national footway parking ban.

The Transport (Scotland) Bill (June 2018) set out plans to introduce a national ban on pavement and double parking to make it easier for local authorities to ensure pavements and roads are safer and more accessible to all.

Living Streets Scotland, part of the UK charity for everyday walking has submitted evidence highlighting the positive economic impact of banning pavement parking.

Pupils at St Hanleys celebrate with Strider

Stuart Hay, Director, Living Streets Scotland comments:

“Cars parking on the pavement cause unnecessary danger for people using our streets. It also has significant hidden costs for council’s roads budgets, including investing in expensive preventative measures. [i]

“Pavements aren’t designed to carry the weight of vehicles, leading to costly repairs which cash-strapped councils simply can’t afford. Damaged pavements are also trip hazards, with a whopping £106million being paid in compensation claims for trips and falls on the footway between 2006 and 2010 in the UK. [ii]

“We’re regularly contacted at Living Streets by disabled and older people who feel trapped in their homes because there isn’t enough room on the pavement for wheelchairs or mobility scooters. Clearing pavements will give many vulnerable people the confidence to enjoy their local streets – reducing isolation and physical inactivity. [iii]

“The Scottish Government should fund the costs of introducing the new laws on a national basis. Relying on local authorities to find the money is recipe for delay and disappointment. A national footway parking ban has low set-up costs but stands to make substantial savings to councils, right through to the NHS. [iv]

Bringing in a pavement parking ban shouldn’t be a question of ‘can we afford it?’, but ‘can we afford not to?’.

Stuart Hay, Director, Living Streets Scotland

This comes shortly after representatives from Guide Dogs and Living Streets took to Downing Street (30 August) to hand-in a letter to the Prime Minister, backed by 20 organisations, urging the government to outlaw dangerous pavement parking.

Read Living Streets Scotland's full evidence submission here.

Notes to editors

[i] Bollards vary in cost but can be as high as £95 per unit plus installation See: https://www.broxap.com/edinburgh-cast-iron-bollard.html

[ii]   (Guide Dog’s report Cracking Under Pressure report);

[iii] Living Streets commissioned YouGov to explore the experiences of UK adults aged over 65 in December 2014. The Scottish sample was broadly in line with the UK as a whole. Of the views expressed:

  • 65% of people were worried about obstructions on the pavement (e.g. cars parked on the pavement, engineering works etc.)
  • 63% of people were angry about obstructions on the pavement (e.g. cars parked on the pavement, engineering works etc.)
  • 48% of people would be more likely to walk outside if pavements were clear of vehicles parked on them
  • 45% of people were discouraged from walking outside by people parking on the pavement

[iv]   Physical inactivity contributes to over 2,500 premature deaths in Scotland each year and costs the NHS in Scotland around £94.1 million annually.

Research illustrates that physical inactivity is the second biggest cause of global mortality (joint with smoking, after high blood pressure). Furthermore it is estimated that getting Scotland active would increase life expectancy by more than a year given our current inactivity levels. Walking, given its accessibility, has been highlighted as the most likely way all adults can achieve the recommended levels of physical activity. National Walking Strategy P.5