Scotland’s Pavement Parking Prohibitions; Consultation on Enforcement Regulations for Local Authorities. Comments by the Living Streets Edinburgh Group
We are disappointed that this consultation document focuses almost entirely on administrative processes rather than seeking views more widely on how to make the prohibitions on irresponsible parking as effective as possible.
We are content with the proposals as set out in the 13 specific questions in the consultation. However, more importantly, we would like to make a small number of points which need to be taken account of int he Regulations and/or guidance which will accompany them.
We seek assurance that the intended date of implementation already announced by Scottish Ministers (1st December 2023) will be adhered to. We are extremely disappointed at the slow progress in implementing these parking prohibitions and any further delay cannot be justified.
Exceptions for Royal Mail, commercial loading, etc.
Certain types of vehicle and certain types of activity are excepted from the irresponsible parking provisions by way of Section 55 of the Act, for example ‘loading for commercial purposes’. However, these exceptions are qualified in a number of respects: notably that such excepted activity is only permitted where parking on the pavement could not reasonably be done on the carriageway; that the parked vehicle leaves a minimum of 1.5 metres of clear footway and; that ‘loading’ is limited to a maximum duration of 20 minutes.
It is essential that these factors are recorded so that excepted vehicles and activities comply with these requirements.
The appeals process must not permit any ‘loopholes’ to be exploited (without hindering, of course, legitimate appeals). In this regard, we therefore seek more clarity on how contraventions are recorded (as per Question 1). It is important that sufficient evidence is obtained to demonstrate why a PCN was issued to ensure that illegitimate appeals cannot succeed. An example of this may include recording the start and finish times of observed pavement parking so as to ensure that the 20 minute loading clause noted above is not exceeded. Photographic evidence may also have an important part to play.
We believe that no grace periods (allowing a short delay before enforcement) should not apply to irresponsible parking on pavements or at dropped kerbs: an observed offence should be ticketed immediately. They may be acceptable for double parking under some circumstances.
The Act permit ‘approved devices’ (presumably cameras) to be used to detect contravention of parking regulations. We are surprised to see no mention of this in the consultation document.
LSEG supports the use of cameras to assist with enforcement of the responsible parking provisions. Parking attendants will not be able to enforce the provisions everywhere. Cameras could be an important tool, especially in suburban areas where there are persistent infringements which cause significant problems but which are difficult to address in person.
Regulations should therefore specify what devices are approved so that they can be used in enforcement activity from the outset in December 2023.
Living Streets Edinburgh Group