Some drivers may park on the pavement because it seems convenient, but it has always been an offence. However, it has not been policed well, despite the fact it can cause a lot of disruption for wheelchair users, pushchairs, and pedestrians. Now drivers in Scotland are seeing the rules tightened, and under a new law, they will receive a fine of up to £150 if they are caught parking across pavements and curbs.
The initial fine would be a £50 penalty notice, but the enforcement workers are within their rights to triple this under certain conditions. Change the law was originally sanctioned in 2019 by the Scottish Parliament and was part of a Transport (Scotland) Act. It is now coming into force anyone receiving a fixed penalty notice has 14 days in which to make payment for the £50 fine. Failure to adhere to this timescale sees the penalty notice rise to £100 if payment is received between the 15th to 28th day after it was issued. If drivers still do not respond to this fixed penalty notice, the council will remind them that they have to pay and increase the fine to £150 with a 14-day payment period.
Inconsiderate and Obstructive Parking
The Scottish government has said that they aim to tackle what they deem inconsiderate and obstructive parking, leaving the pavements accessible for the intended users, for example, pedestrians, pushchairs and wheelchairs. At the moment, there is still some discussion among local councils to discover exactly when their powers will come into force and what they are and aren’t able to do in regard to the new law. Speaking on behalf of Transport, Scotland, a spokesperson said, "The secondary regulations required to ensure local authorities have the powers they need to enforce this will be laid in Parliament later this year.”
When the new law was first approved in 2019, the aim had been to implement the penalty notice team by 2020, but as with many other things, this was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Drivers often feel that they can justify their decision to park on pavements with excuses such as widening the gap to allow emergency vehicles to pass safely on the road, but this is not the case. If there is no designated parking or the only alternative is parking on the pavement, they should actually find a different solution for their parking dilemma. Blocking pavements and drop curbs cause issues for pedestrians; those in wheelchairs and pushchairs can find navigating crossings a lot more difficult and have to venture out into the road to pass. This can create a dangerous situation with limited visibility, putting a wheelchair user or pushchair in the path of danger.