A new law that will crack down on parking on the pavement must not contain too many exemptions, writes Kezia Dugdale.
Last Thursday in the Scottish Parliament, the first stage of the Transport Bill came before MSPs.
This bill covers a wide range of issues and is designed to help make Scotland’s transport network cleaner, smarter and more accessible.
It also aims to empower local authorities and establish consistent standards in order to tackle current and future challenges, while delivering a more responsive and sustainable transport system for everyone in Scotland.
A significant part of the bill is the proposed ban on pavement parking, which is a regular issue constituents across Edinburgh raise with me at public advice surgeries or through my postbag.
I’m supportive of a ban on pavement parking which can cause serious problems for those with mobility issues, as well as those with prams, and we should take action to prevent it as far as possible.
The bill as it stands does provide a number of specific exemptions and gives local authorities the ability to exempt certain roads from a ban. These exemptions provide an element of flexibility and will help to protect against potential problems such as unnecessarily restricting access on certain roads for emergency vehicles and there are also specific exemptions built into the bill for certain vehicles, for example an ambulance attending an emergency.
However, as the numerous emails I’ve had point out, certain exemptions may act as loopholes. I want to ensure that these are removed so that as few vehicles as possible will be allowed to continue to park on and obstruct pavements, making it easier to enjoy our towns and cities, particularly if you have visual or mobility impairments.