Major UK city to launch huge parking law changes that could see drivers fined £100

Car parked on pavement

Drivers could be slapped with a £100 fine for parking on the pavement

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 13/11/2023

- 08:46

Legislation was first introduced in 2021 for the Scottish parking laws

A major UK city is planning on introducing new parking laws to crack down on drivers parking illegally, with new rules set to be launched next year.

Edinburgh is set to become the first city outside of London to roll out such laws to reduce the number of vehicles blocking walkways used by pedestrians.

The Scottish capital city announced it would be banning pavement parking in January, following national regulations coming into force on December 11.

Drivers will be hit with a £100 fine if they are found to be parking on the pavement illegally, although this could be halved if the fine is paid quickly.

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Double parking and parking at dropped kerbs will also be banned, although exemptions will exist for delivery drivers.

The Scottish Government had passed a law in 2021 which gave the local authority permission to take action against people parking on the pavement.

The legislation is set to receive ministerial approval in December, meaning all councils will be able to enforce the ban.

According to the City of Edinburgh Council, pavement parking was a “persistent issue” on more than 500 streets around the Scottish capital.

Scott Arthur, transport and environment convener, said there were not any plans to introduce exemptions aside from national rules preventing people from being fined, like emergency vehicles.

Speaking about the new law changes, he said: “I think the ban is long overdue.

“Because of the way the legislation works just now the police aren’t really able to deal with it, but now the council has the power to take it on and I think it will be transformative.”

He added that pavement parking causes issues for all road users, especially those who may have mobility issues.

Edinburgh Council hopes drivers will take notice of the changes, as well as a public information campaign set to be launched over the festive period, to avoid any fines.

The passing of such a law has been seen as a major win for campaigners and charities looking to make pavements safer places for those with mobility issues and sight loss.

Niall Foley, lead external affairs manager at Guide Dogs Scotland, said: "Parking on pavements is a nuisance for everyone, but potentially dangerous if you are a wheelchair user forced onto the road, pushing a buggy, or have sight loss and can't see traffic coming towards you.

"When cars block the way, it undermines the confidence of people with a vision impairment to get out and about independently."

Other councils, including South Lanarkshire, have indicated support for the new changes, but have not yet committed to introducing the changes.

Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, said Edinburgh was taking the correct approach to enforcing pavement parking restrictions.


Parking fines

The new rules are set to be rolled out in the new year


He added: “Exemptions should only be applied in exceptional cases based on evidence, which can only be collected via careful monitoring and consultation.

“This is the best way to ensure those most affected by blocked pavements, including disabled people, have safe access to our streets.”

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