Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called for action to be taken on dangerous and antisocial parking.
Cathy, who is Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Transport Committee, said that she was very concerned, particularly about pavement parking.
“We tell children to stay on the pavement to stay safe, but cars on pavements force them onto the road. Bad parking can put lives at risk.
“I know some people feel that they have good reason to park on pavements, but my message is clear. Don’t park on pavements unless you can leave at least enough room for pedestrians and wheelchair users to pass.
“When I raised this matter, the initial response was that nothing could be done without an amendment to the Road Traffic Act. That would be good but could take a long time to happen.
“There are however things that we can do now, to protect pedestrians from this menace.
“We could improve and strengthen powers to deal with the problem, using local government byelaws. By doing that we will not only be creating the means to deal with persistent offenders, we will also be sending out a strong message to those who still feel they need to park on the pavement. We should back up local legislation with a campaign to drive home the message that bad parking is putting people’s lives at risk.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament last week, Cathy asked the Minister for Transport what the Scottish Executive had done to address such problems since the last election in May 2007.
Cathy said that the current system “is not working. Pavement parking creates a risk for children, parents with buggies and people with disabilities who have wheelchairs or scooters. Will he consider how the measures can be strengthened and perhaps how local authorities can introduce byelaws to end pavement parking?”
Replying on behalf of the Scottish Government, Minister Stewart Stevenson said that it was a matter for the police or, where decriminalised parking enforcement has been introduced, for parking attendants. His officials would be happy to advise local authorities on traffic regulation orders to tackle unhelpful and unsocial parking.
“The Scottish Government seem happy to sit back and say it’s someone else’s problem, about which they will offer advice but only if they are asked. That is not really tackling the problem. The Scottish Government could be much more proactive, promoting good practice and encouraging local authorities to try new tactics. I hope they will reconsider their stance.”