Scotland pavement parking ban: what is it and when does it take effect?

After over a decade of campaigning by groups like Living Streets Scotland, the Scottish Parliament passed a bill on Thursday 10 October that will outlaw pavement parking across the country.

According to Living Streets, cars which are parked partially on the pavement can act as major obstacles for less mobile individuals, either forcing them into traffic or preventing them from travelling altogether.

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Living Streets are celebrating the new bill as a major victory and they have urged the rest of the UK to follow suit, although they do still have some qualms about its details.

Pavement parking can block off sidewalks and make life difficult for people who are less mobile. (Picture: Shutterstock).

Here's everything you need to know.

What does the pavement parking ban mean?

As you would expect, the ban simply makes it an offence to park a vehicle even partially on the pavement.

As of 2021, pavement parking will be a thing of the past in Scotland. (Picture: Shutterstock)

While there are already laws designed to cover this, they are unclear to the point of being almost impossible to enforce.

As well as ensuring that all pedestrians have equal use of the pavements, it has been pointed out that the bill could save local councils significant sums of money by preventing cars from causing damage to the pavements that must then be repaired.

However, the new legislation does contain a contentious clause that allows for delivery vehicles to park on the pavement for up to 20 minutes at a time.

In the view of organisations like Living Streets, this 20-minute window both undermines the purpose of the law and threatens to make it too difficult to enforce.

One perk of the new law is that it should save councils money on pavement repairs. (Picture: Shutterstock)

When does it take effect?

The new law will not come into play until 2021 as part of the Transport (Scotland) Bill.

This bill also contains provisions for the creation of low emissions zones in four Scottish cities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee) as well as promising improved bus services.

What has been said about it?

Stuart Hay, director of lead campaign group Living Streets Scotland, said: “This is the first nationwide ban put in place in the UK and represents the culmination of over a decade of campaigning.

“People in wheelchairs, parents with pushchairs and older adults who are currently forced into oncoming traffic when faced with vehicles blocking their path will now be able to enjoy a new freedom.

“Practical plans and resources, including the proposed national publicity campaign, should now be put in place to ensure the bill is enacted efficiently. England and Wales should look to take a lead from today’s monumental decision.”