Edinburgh starts issuing £100 fines for pavement parking

Tuesday January 30th 2024

Edinburgh pavement parking enforcement

Guide dog owner Elaine MacKenzie benefits from cars parking on the road.


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Edinburgh has become the first Scottish local authority to enforce against parking on pavements, parking at pedestrian crossing points and double parking.

Parking attendants have begun monitoring streets across the city, along with existing duties. Anyone found to be contravening the new rules could be subject to a £100 fine, reduced to £50 if paid within the first 14 days.

Yesterday Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Scott Arthur joined parking attendants to see the impact of the changes. He also met representatives from Guide Dogs Scotland and Living Streets, with whom the Council collaborated to lobby for the introduction of controls in Scotland.

National regulations giving councils the power to enforce the new rules came into effect on 11th December 2023. The change addresses the inconvenience inconsiderate parking causes to all road users, in particular those with mobility issues, visual impairments, and people with pushchairs.

Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener, said:

“We’re leading the way as Scotland’s first local authority to enforce against pavement parking, as well as parking at crossing points and double parking.

“This is a change that we’ve wanted to make for a long time, and I’ve heard from many people who say it will make their day-to-day life much easier. It will make our streets safer for everyone, in particular those with visual impairments or mobility issues, and I’m delighted that reports of pavement parking are already coming down.

“Now the restrictions are in place, we are relying on the public to park safely and considerately, making sure not to block any roads. We’ll continue to monitor streets across the city to make sure the impacts on the wider network are minimal.”

People who have been affected by pavement parking have also welcomed the ban.

Edinburgh-based guide dog owner Elaine MacKenzie said she and guide dog Tessy are often forced out onto the road when their path is blocked by a parked vehicle, putting them in real danger.

Elaine said:

“I remember a time when there was a work van parked on the pavement. It was a very busy road but we didn’t have any other option to get past. I had to go on the road to actually get to where I needed to go, and I was terrified.

“Sometimes you’re walking towards traffic or you can be walking with traffic coming from behind you, which is really scary if you can’t see.

“I’m so glad the City of Edinburgh Council are doing something to end pavement parking. The new legislation will make a real difference to my everyday life. It will be one less thing to worry about when I am out and about with Tessy.”

Local parent Euan Reid added:

“The ban on pavement parking will make a big difference for parents who are using prams in Edinburgh. There have been occasions where I have had to use the road to navigate our pram past cars parked on the pavement, this creates an unnecessary risk to parents and their children, and I am pleased that the City of Edinburgh Council have taken action to make the streets safer for everyone.”

Officers have identified a small number of streets where there is significant pavement parking and have written to these properties to help them prepare for the measures. Now the ban is in place monitoring will continue to ascertain whether any mitigation measures are required to minimise potential negative impacts on the wider road network.

The restrictions will help ensure Edinburgh’s roads and footways are accessible for all, which is central to our vision of an equal, accessible and sustainable city as part of the City Mobility Plan.

The prohibitions first featured in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, though the necessary regulations required to support the enforcement and appeals procedures have only recently been finalised by Transport Scotland.

Find out more about the new parking rules, and report incorrectly parked vehicles, on the Council website.

Mike Moore, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs Scotland, said:

“We applaud the City of Edinburgh Council’s swift and decisive action to use its new powers to tackle pavement parking in the city.

“These measures will be a huge help for people with sight loss, who are often discouraged from getting out and about by the fear of badly parked vehicles.

“While pavement parking creates problems for everyone, it is especially dangerous if you have sight loss and can’t see whether traffic is coming towards you.

“Removing the barrier of vehicles blocking the way for pedestrians will make Edinburgh a more accessible city and sets a strong precedent for all local authorities in Scotland to follow.”

David Hunter, Convener of the Living Streets Edinburgh Group, said:

“It’s been a long road to getting a ban on pavement parking. Living Streets has campaigned for this for well over ten years so it is gratifying to see the day arrive when we should no longer see this kind of anti-social parking. Pavements are for people and cars don’t belong on them. We are especially pleased to see the City of Edinburgh Council leading the way by applying the ban to every street, without exception.”

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