Pavement parking law may be introduced this year – warning

Pavement parking: Blind man reveals the dangers

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Pavement parking is set to be banned in Scotland this year after Government action on the infraction was delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Scotland originally announced its intention to ban pavement parking and dropped kerbs in 2019, with former Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, saying a ban would not be enforced before 2023.

However, Living Streets, a walking charity, said because of a 2022 consultation, a ban would not be coming into effect until December 2024.

As a result, the charity demanded that the Government act and ban the parking error before the end of 2023, saying any further delays would be “unacceptable”. Parking on pavements is already punishable if it causes an obstruction.

Harrison Woods, CEO of YourParkingSpace, warned drivers of the new rules which could be introduced and what they should do to avoid any fines.

He said: “In order to improve accessibility around Scotland, drivers will be banned from parking on pavements.

“If you are caught, this parking tariff could prove expensive, with drivers hit by a £70 fixed penalty notice. 

“However, the awaited ban on vehicles blocking Scotland’s pavements is likely to take another two years to be introduced after delays, so drivers shouldn’t panic yet.”

The pavement parking law is already in place in England’s capital under the Greater London (General Purposes) Act 1974.

This enforces the pavement parking ban through the 32 London boroughs and the City of London.

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If someone is caught parking on the pavement by the police, they could be charged with “unnecessary obstruction of any part of the highway”.

Rule 244 of the Highway Code states that drivers “must not park partially or wholly on the pavement in London”, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it.

Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.

The same applies to goods vehicles. Any vehicles with a  maximum laden weight of over 7.5 tonnes (including any trailer) must not be parked on a verge, pavement or any land situated between carriageways, without police permission.

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The only exception is when parking is essential for loading and unloading, in which case the vehicle must not be left unattended.

Mr Woods continued, saying: “In the meantime, we strongly advise avoiding pavement parking and making sure to plan your parking in advance to minimise the inevitable stress. 

“Councils across the country have already been given bigger responsibilities to fine motorists with road user safety at the forefront of their reasoning. 

“That means you could be left seriously out of pocket if police determine you are unnecessarily obstructing a road or highway.”

Many are still unsure of the rules around pavement parking, with a YouGov study, commissioned by Guide Dogs, finding that 46 percent of drivers are confused by pavement parking laws.

Only five percent of motorists knew all aspects of the current law around pavement parking.

Harrison Woods concluded by reiterating that the current laws around pavement parking can be “quite confusing”, saying that is why it’s difficult at times to recognise if drivers will be prosecuted or not. 

“Traditional parking options could prove difficult to come by over the next few years, so we urge motorists to consider alternative parking arrangements such as parking on rented driveways or parking spaces,” he said.

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