Pavement parking should be culturally unacceptable - campaigners

A new culture making pavement parking anti-social was urged today campaigners for disabled people and pedestrians.
Pavement parking would be banned under the Transport (Scotland) Bill. Picture: Kate ChandlerPavement parking would be banned under the Transport (Scotland) Bill. Picture: Kate Chandler
Pavement parking would be banned under the Transport (Scotland) Bill. Picture: Kate Chandler

They want vehicles obstructing pavements to be popularly frowned on as part of a planned new law to ban the practice.

David Hunter, of the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland, told MSPs he backed “creating that culture where it is seen as anti-social to park on a pavement.

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“It is not a decent thing to do because it does cause pedestrians problems.”

He was giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s rural economy and connectivity committee on the planned Scottish Government’s Transport (Scotland) Bill, which would outlaw it.

Mr Hunter said bin lorries and vehicles loading should not be exempt, as is proposed.

He said that would strengthen enforcement.

Iain Smith, of Inclusion Scotland, which campaigns for disabled people, said of the ban: “This is very important for disabled people.

“Many are trapped in their house because of vehicles parked on pavements, which means they cannot get out on a wheelchair.”

He said vehicles also damaged pavements, causing a trip hazard.

Mr Smith added that parking beside dropped kerbs should also be made illegal.

John Lauder, director of walking and cycling body Sustrans Scotland, said pavement parking had “become a societal norm”, fuelled by more families owning several cars.

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He said: “It will take time to change it. We have a very woolly approach to parking enforcement in Scotland at the moment - it is not always clear, and it can vary from local authority to local authority.”

He Lauder said the measure would address “a human need to make it easy for people to get out their house and down the pavement where they live unencumbered.”

Several MSPs expressed concern that a ban would create a shortage of parking.

However, Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, which campaigns for pedestrians, said the problem had been building up for 40 years.

He said using empty car parks near areas of high parking demand should be considered, along with promoting car clubs so drivers did not need to own a car they could not find anywhere to park.

He said: “The biggest change will be through behaviour change.

“I really welcome the [Scottish] Government’s commitment to a behaviour campaign behind it.”