No more parking on pavements celebrated by disabled

Living streets

Parking on pavements is a danger argue disabled campaigners

3rd December 2015 by Robert Armour 2 Comments

Disability groups are claiming victory after the Scottish Government announced motorists are to be banned from parking on pavements.

A lengthy campaign led by the RNIB and Guide Dogs has forced ministers to act to prosecute selfish drivers who restrict access to pavements for their own convenience.

It means footpaths across the country will be cleared of cars allowing wheelchair users, blind and partially sighted people as well as parents pushing buggies the same access as other members of the public.

In a surprise announcement, the move was revealed by transport minister Derek Mackay, who said the legislation would be put in place if the party wins next May's Holyrood election.

Discussions with local councils and members of the public will now take place  to identify areas to be exempt from the ban.

He told Holyrood's local government committee: "People don't need to be alarmed that suddenly they cannot park near their homes.

"This will not be like setting a national speed limit that applies universally."

For years campaigners have complained of built-up areas plagued by cars left on pavements or double parked, interfering with pedestrians and the flow of traffic.

This is a major victory for disability campaigners who have fought long and hard for the right of access - Peter Felix

While it is illegal to drive on a pavement it is not against the law to park there although the Highway Code says it is bad driving practice to park on a pavement.

Peter Felix, who is blind and has campaigned tirelessly for the law to be changed, welcomed the move.

He said: “This is a major victory for disability campaigners who have fought long and hard for the right of access.

“Often this is just about educating motorists and making them aware. Now that it will be underpinned by legislation.”

Sandra White, SNP MSP, who has campaigning alongside Guide Dogs, disability and pensioners' organisations and Living Streets, the walking charity, hailed it as “fantastic”.

"It is about equality,” she said. “People who are disabled or mums with buggies are forced out into the road and that's very dangerous for them.”

Comments

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3rd December 2015 by Gail Hughes

I never have worked out how people can, supposedly legally, park on the pavement without illegally driving on the pavement to get there. Do they bodily lift their cars onto the pavement or what? This is a great move though.

4th December 2015 by Colin-Roy Hunter

My local authority in England advised me of the following, quoting from an email to myself: 'the offence of parking on the footway is covered by "the unnecessary obstruction by motor vehicle- Contrary to regulation 103 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988."'