Sandra White MSP, with the backing of 19 voluntary organisations, is leading a member’s bill at Holyrood that could see local authorities given new powers to tackle inconsiderate parking.
The issue is important because people who park their cars inconsiderately – on pavements, dropped kerbs, and raised crossings – can make life very difficult for other road users. Blind people, wheelchair users and families with pushchairs are especially affected.
Although the Police have powers to tackle this problem, they rarely use them.
The Bill has already won the backing of MSP’s representing five political parties, but the more MSPs that sign up to support it, the more chance it has of winning parliament debating time – and thus becoming law.
So earlier this week we contacted Leith MSP, Malcolm Chisholm to see if he was supporting the bill. We’re delighted to report that he is.
He said: “I am supporting the Responsible Parking (Scotland) Bill which has been brought forward by Sandra White MSP. It seeks to prevent parking at dropped kerbs and on pavements and also to stop double parking with certain exceptions.
“I welcome all of these proposals since they address problems that have been described to me by constituents on many occasions.
“Parking at dropped kerbs makes it impossible for any one in a wheelchair to cross the street and needs to be banned in all circumstances Parking on pavements also makes life impossible for wheelchair users as well as blind people and any one pushing a buggie or pram. There may be exceptional circumstances in which it can be justified but it certainly far too common an occurrence in this city and elsewhere.
“Double parking may also be justified in specific circumstances but is often dangerous for pedestrians and drivers and is particularly dangerous when it prevents access by emergency vehicles . That is one reason why the fire brigade is supporting the bill.
“More generally I believe that roads and pavements must always be designed with far more attention to the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. This is essential for the promotion of active travel with its great environmental and health benefits. This bill will make an important contribution towards that objective although hopefully it will be complemented by other local actions in relation to Leith Walk and other streets.”
For more background on the proposals see the Living Streets Scotland website.
Photo credit: Bhachgen