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Ban on pavement parking in Edinburgh comes into force

The ban is aimed to make streets in Edinburgh safer and more accessible for pedestrians, particularly those with mobility issues or impaired vision (PA)
The ban is aimed to make streets in Edinburgh safer and more accessible for pedestrians, particularly those with mobility issues or impaired vision (PA)

A city-wide ban on drivers parking their vehicles on pavements in Edinburgh comes into full effect on Monday morning.

Motorists could face a fine of up to £100 if they break the rule, which aims to stop vehicles from blocking pavements and obstructing pedestrians.

It is hoped the change will make streets safer and more accessible for pedestrians, particularly those with mobility issues or impaired vision.

Walking charity Paths For All has welcomed the ban and praised Edinburgh as the first Scottish city to enforce the legislation, which was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2019.

The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 included powers for councils to ban parking on pavements, at dropped kerbs and known crossing places as well as double parking.

The ban on pavement parking in Edinburgh comes into effect after a national survey commissioned by Paths For All found 60% of Scots would like to walk and cycle more often for everyday reasons.

The survey on public attitudes found 46% of people cited cars parked on pavements as an issue they encounter when walking or cycling locally.

The problem was found to be more pronounced among people with impaired mobility or a long-term illness, with 62% reporting their routes had been blocked by parked vehicles.

A higher percentage of people who said their health was either bad or very bad also cited pavement parking as an impediment (60%), as did people aged 45 and over (51%).

Kevin Lafferty, chief executive of Paths For All, said: “We support the new pavement parking ban which is to be enforced across Scotland.

“No longer will vehicles obstructing pavements and dropped kerbs be a barrier for people trying to safely navigate through their neighbourhoods.

“Speaking as CEO of Paths For All, I hear from countless community members across the country who feel restricted by pavement parking in their daily lives. Parents unable to push prams, wheelchair users forced into roads, and people with sight loss unable to access paths.

“However, this ban tangibly breaks down accessibility issues and clears the way, quite literally, for more Scots to walk and wheel safely every day.

“We’d like to praise Edinburgh for being the first city to enact this ban, and we hope the rest of the country will follow suit shortly.”

The Paths For All survey also found 14% of people who took part had to alter their routes because of cars parked on pavements.

This percentage increased to 19% among people with children in their household, 20% among those with disabilities and 29% among people who reported being in bad or very bad health .

Stuart Hay, director of walking charity Living Streets, said: “This poll highlights how widespread pavement parking is and the big job that the Scottish Government and local councils face in tackling an issue that affects all pedestrians, including children, disabled people and older citizens.

“It’s welcomed that the capital is taking action but other councils need to deal with dangerous and anti-social parking too.”