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12 January 2024, 07:37

New Scottish Legislation Aims to Enhance Pavement and Road Safety

Both East and South Ayrshire Council will consider plans for a ban on pavement and double parking next week.

In a significant move to improve pedestrian and road safety, the Scottish Government has introduced new legislation aimed at making pavements and roads more accessible and secure. This latest regulatory change focuses on managing pavement parking and double parking, defining the former as parking with any wheel or part of a wheel on the pavement, and the latter as vehicles parked more than 50cm from the edge of the carriageway. This initiative also seeks to safeguard dropped kerbs, which are essential for aiding pedestrians and cyclists in crossing roads.

The legislation grants Scottish local authorities the discretion to enforce these new rules, taking into account their priorities and available resources. A key aspect of the law is a set of exemptions. Emergency services, medical personnel in emergency situations, and postal service deliveries needing pavement access for goods delivery are exempt from the regulations. Additionally, vehicles involved in roadworks or removing obstructions are not subject to these rules.

Councils have the authority to create specific exemption orders for certain areas, adhering to strict criteria. This includes considerations for pavements wide enough to allow parking without obstructing more than 1.5m of the pathway, and streets where on-road parking could hinder emergency vehicles.

The Ayrshire Roads Alliance (ARA) is poised to play a pivotal role if the legislation is approved. They will conduct an initial desktop assessment of the road network, leveraging online street view images and local knowledge. Identified areas will undergo a more thorough evaluation. ARA’s report to the councils outlines a three-tier approach to categorize streets based on the impact of the ban. The ‘green’ category indicates streets where the ban would have a low impact, requiring a change in driver behavior to avoid pavement parking.

The second tier addresses areas with greater impact, necessitating a change in driver behavior and potentially additional measures in situations where alternative parking is unavailable and could lead to congestion or safety issues. The highest impact tier would consider exemptions and additional measures, such as formalizing pavement parking on one side of narrow streets, coupled with ‘No Waiting’ restrictions on the other side to maintain clear footways.

The assessments will guide street evaluations for necessary lining and possibly other Traffic Regulation Orders for physical mitigation measures. Since the decriminalization of parking enforcement in 2012, both councils involved have employed parking attendants. The introduction of this legislation will necessitate further tasks, including street assessments, to effectively commence enforcement duties. This comprehensive approach reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to enhancing the safety and accessibility of its roads and pavements, balancing enforcement with practical considerations and local needs.

Notes to the editor

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