The ​pavement parking ban will mean safer streets - Lorna Slater

​The pavement parking ban will be a big step towards building a city that works for everyone. ​This long overdue change will come into effect from 29 January, meaning that there will be a £100 fine for drivers who block crossings, park on footways and double park, with no exceptions other than for emergency service vehicles.
Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna SlaterMinister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater
Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater

Edinburgh is a beautiful city, yet, for too many people, it can be difficult to get around. Our Old Town and the area surrounding Parliament, for example, are iconic and historic, but the narrow pavements and cobblestones can cause havoc for people using mobility aids or pushing buggies.

All of this is made many times worse when thoughtless drivers have parked on pavements as often happens on roads like the Mile, blocking the way and often forcing vulnerable people to go onto roads to get around them.

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Our footways and pavements are not parking spaces. We all have a right to safety, and nobody should have to put themselves in a vulnerable position.

Photo: Lisa FergusonPhoto: Lisa Ferguson
Photo: Lisa Ferguson

That’s why the pavement parking ban will be key to reclaiming our communities and discouraging the kind of selfish parking that is blocking far too many people’s independence and stopping them from enjoying the city around them.

It was back in 2019 when the Scottish Government passed a law to give local authorities the power to stop pavement parking. However, due to Covid 19 and other delays, the legislation only came into force last December, with Edinburgh City Council being the first local authority to enforce it.

It was also the result of a positive political consensus that saw all parties working together to deliver it. Edinburgh Green councillors, for example, worked to ensure that organisations representing disabled people and people with mobility needs were central to the process.

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The process has been long and all councils have had lots of notice, so if Edinburgh can do this all councils can. We need ambitious plans like this rolled out across Scotland.

The pavement parking ban is only one of the changes that will come in this year to make our city more livable and accessible.

The record investment we have provided for walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure is already making an impact that will continue to be felt, and Low Emission Zone will keep the most polluting cars out of our city centre and ensure we are breathing cleaner air.

Cities are not just a collection of streets and roads, they are homes and communities. Edinburgh needs to work for everyone who lives here, which means ensuring all of us can enjoy it and experience all that it has to offer.

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