Tag Archives: pavement Parking

Pavement parking: deputation from Living Streets Edinburgh Group

Walking, disability and cycling organisations have campaigned for a ban on pavement parking for well over a decade, It is also now four years since the ban was legislated for in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019. On the eve of the ban finally coming into effect, it is essential that it is administered as effectively as possible, so that we see an end to vehicles parked on pavements and blocking dropped kerbs.

We would like to give full credit to councillors who adopted a policy last August that the ban should apply to all streets, with no exemptions. We are encouraged to hear the determination to stick to this position. We want to see the additional revenue generated by penalties re-invested in effective enforcement – especially in those areas in the city where parking attendants don’t currently patrol.

However the report before councillors is extremely disappointing. It not only fails to acknowledge this ‘no exemptions’ policy, but also asks councillors “to note” an approach which permits the possibility of exemptions – contrary to council policy.

The report seems to assume that current parking capacity must be accommodated; that the Council must ensure that people who currently park on the footway are able to either park somewhere else, or must be allowed to continue to park on pavements. How can a council with a target to reduce car use by 30% countenance such an approach?

When footway parking is no longer permitted, then the responsibility lies with the owner to find somewhere else to park safely and legally. No doubt many people who currently park on the pavement won’t be able to park outside their home and will have to walk further to a suitable parking space. But if someone has nowhere to park safely and legally, then it calls into question whether they should own that car at all.

The Council’s Project Centre consultants advise that they have recommended “cost-effective mitigation measures to alleviate footway parking” for all the problem streets which they have identified (Para 2.3.9 of the Appendix). One of these mitigations is ‘exemption’: in other words, to alleviate pavement parking, it should be permitted!! This is an incredible feat of logic. We have asked to see the full list of these recommendations and suggest that they must be made available to all councillors, and to the public.

The report makes no mention of the need to assess the impacts on disabled people of continuing to permit footway parking which we believe fails to conform to the Public Sector Equality Duty. The Scottish Government’s statutory disability transport advisors (the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland, MACS) has called for all councils to adopt a ‘no exemptions’ policy.

It would be unforgivable if the long-awaited ban on irresponsible parking was undermined at the eleventh hour by allowing streets to be exempted because of displaced parking. Cars belong in a driveway or garage, or on the carriageway. Pavements are not places where vehicles belong. It really is that simple.

Living Streets Edinburgh Group

November 2023

Consultation on Enforcement Regulations for Local Authorities – Comments from LSEG

Scotland’s Pavement Parking Prohibitions; Consultation on Enforcement Regulations for Local Authorities. Comments by the Living Streets Edinburgh Group

General Comments

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.

Appeals

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.

Grace Periods

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.

Camera Enforcement

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

June 2023

LSE responds to Transport Scotland consultation on potential exemptions to the ban on pavement parking

The consultation is open until 11 March 2022: be sure to have your say! bit.ly/3FL6wTT 

Neither of the proposed grounds for exemption are acceptable: no streets should be exempt from the ban on pavement parking. This is for the following reasons:

  • as a matter of principle, “pavements are for people”, not vehicles. The interests of pedestrians, and especially disabled pedestrians, should be paramount.
  • pavement parking damages footways which are not generally designed to carry the weight of a motor vehicle.
  • restrictions on parking are one of the main tools at the disposal of a local authority to achieve environmental and social goals such as the targets for reducing car travel by 2030 (20% nationally, 30% in Edinburgh).
  • any exemption will leave a council powerless to intervene should a pavement be obstructed, even if it appears that the pavement is wide enough to accommodate pavement parking.
  • if a street is too narrow for a fire engine or other emergency vehicle to pass, then parking should be banned altogether.
  • The implementation of exemptions would involve a range of legal orders, installation of signage etc. which would be an unwelcome additional burden on council responsibilities and budgets, and also add to pavement clutter.
  • A ’zero-exemption’ policy would permit quicker implementation of the ban.

Councils should instead focus enforcement resources where they are needed most but always retaining, for all streets, the powers to intervene should it be necessary. We know that Police Scotland will not respond to reports of footway obstructions so the new powers for local authorities must not be given up. Councils should also start conversations as soon as possible with communities which will be most affected (ie in the many streets where pavement parking is currently common) in order to help residents understand the action that they will need to take when the ban comes into effect.