New parking rules

Frequently asked questions

What are the new rules?

New Scotland wide parking legislation means it is now illegal to

  • park on pavements
  • double park
  • park at pedestrian crossing points
  • park on road verges, which lie between roads and pavements.

The new rules came into law on Monday 11 December 2023 and we started enforcement on Monday 29 January 2024 with the issue of parking tickets to vehicles contravening the rules.

Why are they being introduced?

The new rules will make it safer for pedestrians and road users. Parking on pavements

  • prevents people from walking safely on pavements and around their neighbourhood
  • can be hazardous for people with disabilities or those pushing prams or buggies
  • damages pavements, which are expensive to repair and become a trip hazard for everyone.

Double parking and parking at dropped kerbs and crossing points

  • can make it dangerous for vulnerable people to cross the road safely
  • prevents people in wheelchairs from crossing the road where vehicles are parked next to dropped kerbs
  • can prevent communal bins from being emptied.

When are they being introduced?

Councils in Scotland have the power to implement the new rules from December 2023 and enforcement of the new rules started in Edinburgh on Monday 29 January 2024. 

How will it be enforced?

Parking Attendants have powers to issue parking tickets to vehicles parked on pavements, at pedestrian crossing points, dropped kerbs or double parked. A parking ticket will be issued at the national level of £100 but reduced to £50 if paid within the first 14 days. A vehicle can also be removed to the Council’s car pound where a removal charge of £190 would apply. Find out more about vehicle removal charges.

How much will the fine be?

£100. This is reduced to £50 if paid within the first 14 days. If payment is not made within 28 days, the charge will increase to £150. Thereafter Sheriff Officers would be instructed to collect the outstanding balance.

What are the new parking contraventions?

The new contravention codes that will appear on penalty charge notices (parking tickets) are:

  • Code 100 - parked on a pavement or verge
  • Code 101 - parked next to a pedestrian dropped or raised crossing point
  • Code 102 - double parking.  

What if cars, parked fully on the road, block streets because there is not enough space and prevent access for emergency services, public transport or refuse collection?

This could already happen in some streets around the city, but is not a common occurrence. However, parking in such a manner may constitute an obstruction to the road which should be reported to Police Scotland on their non-emergency number 101 and they may take action against drivers of these vehicles. It is the responsibility of each driver to park their vehicle considerately and where this would not cause an obstruction to the road. If you cannot park with all four wheels on the carriageway without blocking traffic, you should park elsewhere.

There is a dropped kerb at the driveway to my home, can I park in front of it?

Yes, the new rules do not apply to parking in front of driveways, garages or property entrances. However, if there’s an existing restriction already in place, such as a single yellow line, this will still apply. However, you should not park on the pavement outside your driveway as this could still be enforced.

Someone else has parked over my driveway can you help?

Unfortunately, no. The new parking rules do not apply to parking in front of driveways. However, if the vehicle is parked on the footway outside your driveway we may be able to help. Parking across a driveway may constitute an obstruction and you should report this to Police Scotland on their non-emergency number 101.

How will I know if a dropped kerb will be enforced or not? 

There are many types of pedestrian crossing points around the city, but only those intended to help pedestrians cross the road to the other side are likely to be enforced. These mainly include where

  • a designated crossing has been introduced such as a Pelican crossing
  • where a pedestrian island is situated
  • at the end of the street
  • where tactile paving is located or
  • where a dropped crossing is directly opposite on the other side of the road.

Some dropped kerbs help to facilitate the collection of communal waste bins and you should avoid parking where you may impede the collection of refuse. If there's no driveway or access adjacent to the dropped kerb, you should consider parking elsewhere if in any doubt.  

There is a raised crossing point in the middle of my street, will this be enforced?

Yes, the prohibition on parking at pedestrian crossing points also applies where the carriageway has been raised to meet the level of the pavement.

What will happen if I park next to a communal bin in my street?

Double parking against communal bins or adjacent to bin hubs prevents bins from being emptied and they fill up. This prevents residents disposing of their rubbish safely and risks waste overflowing in to the street. A parking ticket may be issued to any vehicle parking adjacent to another vehicle, a communal bin or anywhere that is more than 50cm from the kerb, unless in a marked on-street parking place.   

Will there be any exceptions?

Only the following are exceptions to the new rules 

  • emergency services and medical practitioners in emergency situations
  • to allow for certain deliveries and collections with certain conditions
    • only if the vehicle is unable to wait on the road
    • the vehicle must leave 1.5m of footway width for pedestrians to pass, and
    • deliveries and collections can only be for a maximum of 20 minutes
  • vehicles used to do works on roads or removal of obstructions.

These exceptions are only valid if specific criteria is met and there is no other reasonable parking available. Find full details of the exceptions in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019.

Are delivery drivers exempt?

There is no specific exception for delivery drivers, and they are expected to follow the rules of the road like any other driver. However, in certain limited circumstances should all conditions be met, there are allowances to wait on the pavement or double park to allow essential deliveries to be completed. Find full details of the exceptions in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019.

Are taxis exempt?

Taxis are not exempt and drivers are expected to park or wait correctly at all times.

Is there a legal requirement for an observation period to be observed for double parking, parking on a pavement, parking at a dropped kerb?

No. Parking tickets can be issued immediately.

The new rules mean there will be fewer parking spaces in my street, where should I park?

We recognise that the new rules may cause some initial disruption on some streets more than others, however there will be no exemptions and drivers may need to find alternative parking in another location. You should not park on the road in locations where this would make the carriageway too narrow for public transport or emergency service vehicles to pass freely.   

People currently pavement park on both sides of my street, how will I know which side of the street to park on when the new rules go live?

There are many residential streets in Edinburgh where parking can only be accommodated on one side of the road. You may want to consider the location of any disabled persons’ parking places, bin hubs or other parking restrictions already in your street or park on the near-side (passenger side) to make reverse parking easier. If you cannot park your vehicle fully on the carriageway in a manner which allows public transport or emergency service vehicles to pass freely on the carriageway, then you should park elsewhere.   

Can I park on the grass verge or grass strip?

No, the new parking rules also include grass verges which lie between the carriageway and the footway and grass strips which form part of the footway.

Will you be putting double yellow lines in some streets?

There are no widespread proposals to introduce double yellow lines, or other mitigation measures, for the new parking rules at this time. This will allow residents to determine the best places for them to park safely.

However, we will monitor the impact of the new rules and if it is required for traffic management or road safety purposes, then additional restrictions may be considered. However, new restrictions would need to go through a legal process, known as a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), part of which includes a public consultation on the proposals so everyone would be able to have their say on the matter.

Do you have enough Parking Attendants to enforce against this?

Yes, there are enough Parking Attendants to enforce the new rules.

Are Disabled Persons’ Blue Badge holders exempt?

No, Blue Badge holders are not exempt from the new parking rules.

Where can I report double parking, footway parking or parking at a pedestrian crossing / dropped kerb?

You can report these on our website - report incorrectly parked vehicles online form. We will do our best to respond quickly, but we may not be able to visit every street where incorrect parking is reported to us. 

Where can I find the survey of my street?

You can find the full audit of footway parking streets report and if your street was included for further detailed considerations.

Where can I find out if a pavement is included?

The Council maintains a list of public roads in Edinburgh. You can find a map of public roads and pavements in Edinburgh which will show you if a footway is part of the public road and where parking on it will be prohibited. The information contained within the map is provided for guidance only. 

In our street we’ve always parked on the pavement, where can we apply for an exemption?

The new rules apply to all circumstances and the Council has decided that there will be no exemptions. There is no application process available to residents or businesses for an exemption to the rules.

What additional signage is planned?

The new rules are a national prohibition that does not require additional signage. Signs would only be put up if exemptions were introduced and it is the Council’s current position that no exemptions are to be permitted.

How are you making drivers aware of the new parking rules?

There is a national publicity campaign, more details are available on the Road Safety Scotland website, and the Council has also be raising awareness locally; using social media, press articles, lamp post wraps, warning flyers and we’ve written to residents in streets where this may have a significant impact on parking.