Pavement parking controls to be introduced in Edinburgh

Preparations are underway to begin enforcement against pavement parking in Edinburgh, following the introduction of new powers by the Scottish Government.

A report to Transport and Environment Committee sets out a proposed approach and timescales for enforcing against pavement parking as part of new parking prohibitions being introduced. National regulations are expected to come into force on 11 December and it is proposed that Edinburgh’s enforcement begins in January 2024.

Parking on pavements, at dropped kerbs and double parking can inconvenience all road users, significantly impacting people with mobility issues, parents with pushchairs and older people.

The Council has always supported a ban on pavement parking and has collaborated closely with Living Streets and Guide Dogs Scotland to lobby for the introduction of controls in Scotland. This will help ensure Edinburgh’s roads and footways are accessible for all, which is central to our vision of an equal, accessible and sustainable city as part of the City Mobility Plan.

Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener, said:

“Implementing these new parking restrictions is part of our commitment to ensure Edinburgh’s roads and pavements are accessible for all.

“Making sure our footways are kept clear will deliver real benefits for pedestrians and road users, particularly those who are disproportionately affected such as parents with pushchairs, older people and wheelchair users.

“We would expect everyone to adhere to the new prohibitions when the final regulations come into force to guarantee our streets are safer and more user-friendly.”

Stuart Hay, Director, Living Streets Scotland, said:

“Edinburgh is taking the right approach to the enforcement of pavement parking, recognising that footways are for people, not parking spaces for cars.

“Exemptions should only be applied in exceptional cases based on evidence, which can only be collected via careful monitoring and consultation. This is the best way to ensure those most affected by blocked pavements, including disabled people, have safe access to our streets.”

Niall Foley, Lead External Affairs Manager at Guide Dogs Scotland, said:

“Parking on pavements is a nuisance for everyone, but potentially dangerous if you are a wheelchair user forced onto the road, pushing a buggy, or have sight loss and can’t see traffic coming towards you.

“When cars block the way, it undermines the confidence of people with a vision impairment to get out and about independently.

“We welcome the parking measures being introduced and look forward to working with Edinburgh Council to ensure the pavement parking prohibitions are a success.”

Preparations include the assessment of 5,217 roads by officers as part of the footway parking assessment project. This has helped to identify a small number of streets where significant pavement parking may require mitigation measures to minimise potential negative impacts on the wider road network.

Despite the prohibitions featuring in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, the necessary regulations required to support the enforcement and appeals procedures have only recently been finalised by Transport Scotland and are expected to come into effect on 11 December. Work to complete the necessary changes in Edinburgh will commence as soon as it is confirmed that the new regulations have come into force.  

An awareness campaign, currently being designed by Transport Scotland, is hoped to drive a change in behaviour over the festive period in advance of enforcement beginning. A further Council-run campaign aligned with the national approach is intended once the new prohibitions take effect.

Read the full report, Implementing of new parking prohibitions. Watch Transport and Environment Committee from 10am on Thursday, 16 November via webcast.

Published: November 13th 2023