Jennifer Rowlinson | Associate

Pavement Parking Prohibited under the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019

Introduction

In a significant move toward creating safer and more pedestrian-friendly streets, The Transport (Scotland) Act, passed in 2019, banned pavement parking, double parking and parking at dropped kerbs. This legislation addressed the increasing concerns surrounding the safety and accessibility of public spaces, especially for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, wheelchair users, and those with visual impairments.

The Transport (Scotland) Act, although passed in 2019, became enforceable from 11th December 2023, as regulations were put in place to allow Scotland’s councils to begin enforcement of the act. The regulations are aimed to address the growing problem of pavement parking, which has been a long-standing issue in urban areas. Parking on the pavement not only obstructs the free flow of pedestrians but also poses safety risks, forcing individuals to navigate busy streets and roads, putting them in harm’s way.

Under the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, it is now an offense to park a vehicle on the pavement unless explicit permission is granted. The legislation empowers local authorities to enforce these rules, ensuring that public spaces remain safe and accessible to all. Violators may face fines and penalties for non-compliance. You can find more information on the act here.

Key Objectives of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019

1. Pedestrian Safety: The primary objective of regulations is to enhance pedestrian safety. By prohibiting pavement parking, lawmakers aim to create a more secure environment for those walking on the pavements. This is especially important for vulnerable road users, including children, the elderly, and individuals with mobility challenges.

2. Accessibility: The new law contributes to improving accessibility for all members of the community. Pavements are designed to be accessible to everyone, and parking on them hinders the ability of wheelchair users, parents with strollers, and individuals with visual impairments to navigate public spaces with ease.

3. Clarity and Consistency: The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 provides a clear framework for what is deemed acceptable regarding parking on pavements. This helps both motorists and pedestrians understand their rights and responsibilities.

Enforcement and Penalties

Local authorities play a crucial role in enforcing the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019. Traffic wardens and other enforcement officers are tasked with monitoring and penalizing individuals who violate the pavement parking rules. Penalties include fines of £100 for these prohibited behaviours; reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

From January 2024, City of Edinburgh Council will become the first local authority in Scotland to begin issuing fines for pavement parking, with many other authorities planning to follow on with their own enforcement over the course of the year. You can find out more on the new parking rules in Edinburgh, and report an incorrectly parked vehicle here.

Exemptions

There are some exemptions in place, such as:

  • To allow for the normal operation of the emergency services, or medical practitioners in emergency situations
  • To allow the response to an emergency or accident
  • To allow for certain deliveries and collections
  • Vehicles used for undertaking works on roads or removal of obstructions

These exceptions are only valid if specific criteria is met and there is no other reasonable parking available. Full details of the exceptions are contained within the 2019 Act.

Local Authorities in Scotland also have powers to exempt certain areas of pavement from the national ban, should they feel it necessary. 

Public Awareness Campaigns

To ensure widespread compliance and understanding of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, authorities have launched a public awareness campaign. The campaign includes informational materials, signage, and community engagement initiatives to educate the public about the importance of adhering to the legislation and its positive impact on road safety. Details of the campaign can be found at Pavement Parking – Road Safety Scotland.

Conclusion

Scotland’s proactive approach to preventing pavement parking under the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, represents a commendable step toward creating safer and more accessible public spaces. With national regulations allowing councils to enforce the act from 11th December 2023, this legislation sets a precedent for other regions to follow in creating inclusive and secure urban environments.

Jennifer Rowlinson

Jennifer Rowlinson

Personal Injury Team

“I particularly enjoy being involved in court hearings and helping my client’s feel supported through the court process from beginning to end”

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