Councils preparing to fine pavement parkers

Friday December 15th 2023

Pavement Parking

The new laws give local authorities the power fine drivers who park on pavements.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Drivers who park on pavements in East Lothian will face fines from next year, the local authority has said.

New laws introduced this week making pavement parking illegal in Scotland give councils the power to charge offenders and East Lothian Council has said it is currently drawing up plans to enforce the ban across the county.

A meeting of elected members had heard a claim from Scottish Greens Councillor Shona McIntosh that the council had ‘no plans’ to take up the new powers. However a spokesperson for the council said work is already under way to introduce fines.

Under the Transport Act (Scotland) 2019, the Scottish Government introduced new regulations which ban parking on pavements, across lowered kerbs and double parking.

The new regulations, which came into effect on Monday, give local authorities the power to fine drivers caught ignoring the regulations as well as allowing them to exempt some footpaths from the ban under certain circumstances.

During the council meeting earlier this week Councillor McIntosh raised concerns that the local authority was not taking advantage of the change to legislation and other money-making options available to them as they face a budget gap of over £8million this year.

Councillor McIntosh said: “There are revenue options and I feel that we are not exploring them as much as we could be, for instance there are things like the transient levy which we are still not really doing anything for, workplace parking levies.

“We are still one of only seven local authorities who won’t really charge for parking everywhere and the pavement parking ban came into force this week and I have now been informed we have no plans to start enforcing that either despite the fact that could raise us revenue.”

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council said work was under way to introduce new fines although no penalty amount had yet been set.

They said: “The council supports the ban and is currently assessing those streets which may be exempt from this new legislation. We hope to have concluded this assessment and commence enforcement of the regulations during 2024.”

A spokesperson for neighbouring Midlothian Council has confirmed it is also intending to start enforcing the pavement parking ban but said plans had not yet been finalised.

Edinburgh’s enforcement begins in January 2024.

Councillor John Greenwell, Scottish Borders Council executive member for roads development and maintenance, called on motorists to heed the new legislation.

He said: “The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 has been introduced to improve the safety of pavement users especially those with mobility issues or visual impairments, or parents pushing prams and buggies.

“It’s extremely important that drivers across the Borders take heed of this new law and adjust their parking habits accordingly.

“Although the new legislation has now been enacted, Scottish Borders Council, like most other Scottish local authorities, still have some work to undertake in identifying locations where an exemption might be justified.

“That being the case the intention will be to focus on educating drivers across the region, prior to any enforcement action being undertaken.”

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