MSP launches members bill on responsible parking

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By a Newsnet reporter

SNP MSP Joe FitzPatrick will launch the consultation phase of his Members Bill on responsible parking tomorrow.  The Bill aims to allow all pedestrians to travel along the pavement and cross roads free from obstructions caused by poorly parked vehicles, which in extreme cases can leave people trapped inside their homes.

The bill includes plans to introduce a Scotland wide ban on parking at dropped kerbs, parking on the pavement, and double parking.  There will be exceptions in the bill for streets with extra wide pavements, and local authorities will be able to grant exemptions based on local circumstances.

The Bill could also potentially save local authorities money.  City of Edinburgh Council has spent over £40 million in the last 5 years on repairs to pavements and on compensation claims related to accidents caused by damaged pavements.

Mr Fitzpatrick, the MSP for Dundee City West, said:

“Responsible parking enables everyone to move around our streets.  It might not seem like you are causing a problem when you park over a dropped kerb or on a pavement, but it can be a major issue for some members of our community.  There can also be very serious issues for the emergency services due to double parked vehicles.

“It is clear that the current situation with complicated police enforcement isn’t working.  We need to have Scottish legislation that enables local authorities to take action against inconsiderate parking.

“Through this bill we can raise awareness amongst drivers and bring in clear guidelines to end pavement and dropped kerb parking.”

Keith Irving, head of the disability access organisation Living Streets Scotland, said:

“Poorly parked vehicles restrict the independence of many vulnerable people including older people, families with pushchairs and those with visual or mobility impairments.

“Living Streets Scotland is supporting Joe FitzPatrick to work with local authorities, delivering effective parking legislation which treats all road users fairly and enables all of us to get around safely.”

Jane Horsburgh, Policy Manager at Guide Dogs Scotland, added:

“The impact of parking across dropped kerbs, crossing points and on pavements poses significant barriers to the mobility of blind and partially sighted people, older people, disabled people, as well as families with pushchairs.

“Inconsiderate parking can render our streets into being inaccessible and hazardous areas that restricts people from going about their daily activities.  That is why we at Guide Dogs Scotland support this proposal as an effective means of bringing about responsible parking.”