East Lothian Council is contacting community councils and area partnerships following the introduction of pavement parking restrictions across Scotland.

The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 provided powers for local authorities to prohibit pavement parking, double parking and lowered kerb parking. These powers became live when the Parking Prohibitions (Enforcement and Accounts) (Scotland) Regulations 2023 came into force on 11 December 2023. The aim of this new legislation is to improve walking conditions for pedestrians and to grant local authorities additional enforcement powers to help keep footways and lowered kerbs clear of parked vehicles.

The default position is that parking on pavements (which includes partly on pavements), double parking and parking at lowered kerbs is now unlawful throughout Scotland.

For roads where enforcement of this legislation may cause significant operational or practical difficulties the legislation permits roads authorities, such as East Lothian Council to create exemption orders which would permit parking on pavements for specified roads which meet strict criteria.

To promote an exemption order the authority must be able to evidence that:

  1. The road carriageway width is insufficient to permit vehicles previously parked on the pavement to park on the road without obstructing the free flow of traffic, particularly emergency service vehicles. For practical purposes this means that the carriageway must be a minimum of 5.5 metres from kerb to kerb or verge to verge and
  2. That the pavement is sufficiently wide to permit pavement parking while maintaining a continuous, minimum clear passage of 1.5 metres for pedestrians and other users
  3. If neither of these criteria can be met, then an exemption order cannot be made and parking restrictions may have to be considered to prevent obstruction of the road.

East Lothian Council has invited community councils and area partnerships to provide feedback by the end of June on whether they feel an Exemption Order might be appropriate for any roads in their areas. This feedback will inform a detailed assessment by council officers.

Councillor John McMillan, Cabinet Spokesperson for Environment, said:

“Parking on pavements, double parking and parking at lowered kerbs can create inconvenience, safety and accessibility issues. It can cause challenges for vulnerable road users, such as children, due to restricted visibility when trying to cross the road safely and particularly affects those with visual or physical impairments or mobility issues such as wheelchair users or carers with prams and buggies, often forcing them to use the live carriageway to proceed past an obstruction.

“The new legislation, which applies across Scotland, means that parking on pavements, double parking and parking is now unlawful. We are keen to hear from communities about whether they feel any exemptions are required or whether there would be any impacts from cars being displaced as a result of not parking on a pavement.”

Published: Monday, 20th May 2024