Drivers in Scotland will soon be banned from parking on pavements as part of rules outlined in a new Transport Bill.
The Scottish Government said any vehicle owner who leaves a car straddling the kerb will be issued with a fine from the local authority.
The new measures, announced on Monday, also proposed low emission zones in the country in a bid to improve air pollution standards.
Pavement ban: Drivers in Scotland could soon face a widespread restriction on parking on pavements under new rules
Under current law, parking on the pavement is only illegal in London – except areas of the capital where drives are instructed to do so.
However, the Department for Transport confirmed in April that it was considering extending the ban across the entirety of England and Wales, with fines of £70 for those who breach the rule.
Scotland is now expected to follow suit under new measures that will also crack down on motorists who double parking.
The new Transport Bill, confirmed by Transport Minister Humza Yousaf on Monday, will also proposed low emission zones (LEZ) in Scotland, similar to those being introduced in central London from next year and extended to North and South Circular in 2021.
ULEZ (Ultra-Low Emission Zones) in London will see drivers of non-Euro 6 diesel cars – registered before September 2015 – have to pay £12.50 each time they enter Central London from 2019.
Motorists – including those living within the boundaries of the North and South Circular, will also have to pay the same fee if they use their non-compliant vehicle two year’s after.
The same rules apply for pre-Euro 4 emissions petrol cars registered before 2011.
Measures suggested in Scotland’s transport bill will be part of a wider effort in a bid to improve the nation’s air pollution by reducing passenger vehicle use and encouraging more people to take public transport.
Councils could also be given more flexibility in running bus services, through partnership working with operators, local franchising or running services themselves, the statement from government confirmed.
Other changes also included smart ticketing technology being standardised across the country and the regulation of road works improved.
Scottish authorities could be given the powers to issue PCNs to drivers who leave their vehicle straddling a footpath
The Scottish Government’s Transport Bill said it would introduce a ban on drivers parking on pavements and double parking
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: ‘This government will not stand by as bus passenger numbers decline.
‘Partnership is at the centre of our proposals, with a new model for local authorities to work with bus operators to revitalise services. We are also providing clearer options for authorities to pursue local franchising or provide services themselves in appropriate circumstances.
‘Beyond bus services, this Bill will allow for decriminalised enforcement of low emission zones, double parking and parking on pavements.
‘This will help transform our towns and cities into cleaner, more accessible and more pleasant spaces to travel and enjoy. By strengthening the technology and governance which underpins smart ticketing, people will be able to move between our cities with greater ease and convenience.
‘By empowering local authorities and continuing to work in partnership with transport operators, we will continue to develop a cleaner, smarter public transport system with improved connectivity, accessibility and greater economic benefits for all of Scotland.’
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes responded to the news, saying: ‘Parking is an emotive issue for many drivers, and there is certainly support for local authorities to clamp down on selfish parking where pavement access is blocked for pedestrians and vulnerable users.
‘However there are instances, particularly on narrow residential streets, where motorists believe they are doing the right thing by putting a wheel or two on the kerb so not to impede road access for other vehicles while also making sure they leave adequate space for those using the pavement and particularly wheelchair users.
‘All eyes will now be on a set of standards and guidance that the Scottish Government will produce for local authorities which we hope will also be clear for motorists to understand.
‘It’s important that common sense prevails over what is and isn’t acceptable.’
Current rules regarding parking on the pavement
Under current rules, only drivers in London can be fined for parking on the pavement. However, the DfT is looking to introduce similar measures across England and Wales
If rules regarding parking were introduced across the UK it will be the first widespread update to the Highway Code since 1974.
Since that date, the transport guidelines have stipulated that: ‘You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it.
‘Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.’
Somewhat confusing the matter, some London boroughs do actually have specified on pavement parking, with bays and signs instructing motorists to park straddling the kerb.
However, there are some instances under the existing rules that allow councils to fine drivers for parking up a kerb outside London.
Rule 242 continues:: ‘You MUST NOT leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road.’
This suggests that any car judged by a police officer to be in a dangerous position or causing an unnecessary obstruction of the road could also result in a fixed penalty notice for the driver.
The RAC states: ‘Outside of London, we advise people to use common sense when faced with no other option but to park on the pavement.
‘If you are parking along a narrow road, where parking wholly on the road would stop other cars, and particularly emergency vehicles, from getting through, then it is a sensible option to park partially on a pavement, providing there are no parking restrictions and providing you are not blocking a wheelchair user or pram from using the pavement.
‘If there are restrictions, or your parking would cause wheelchair users or people with prams to have to walk into the road, then you should find somewhere else to park.’