Edinburgh to be first Scottish city to ban pavement parking

car parked on pavement
Car owners in Edinburgh could face a £100 fine under new regulations planned for the capital

Edinburgh is set to become the first city in Scotland to completely ban cars from parking on the pavement.

Under plans drawn up by the city council, drivers who mount the kerb will face a £100 fine.

Double parking and parking at dropped kerbs will also be banned - although there will be an exemption for delivery drivers.

National regulations will come into force on 11 December, with Edinburgh's enforcement to start in January 2024.

Across the UK, parking on the pavement is only currently illegal in London, although police can take action if a driver is causing and obstruction.

The Scottish government passed a law in 2021 that gives local authorities the power to stop pavement parking. The legislation will receive ministerial approval in December meaning all councils are free to enforce the ban.

City of Edinburgh Council said pavement parking was a "persistent issue" on more than 500 streets across the city.

The authority carried out a survey which suggested 68% of residents support the proposals.

Cars and vans can cause particular challenges for disabled people and parents with pushchairs.

Niall Foley, lead external affairs manager at Guide Dogs Scotland, said: "Parking on pavements is a nuisance for everyone, but potentially dangerous if you are a wheelchair user forced onto the road, pushing a buggy, or have sight loss and can't see traffic coming towards you.

"When cars block the way, it undermines the confidence of people with a vision impairment to get out and about independently."

Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, a charity which promotes everyday walking, also backed the plans.

He said: "Edinburgh is taking the right approach to the enforcement of pavement parking, recognising that footways are for people, not parking spaces for cars."

Despite the scale of the problem, no additional parking staff are being recruited to enforce the ban and the council said there were currently enough legal parking spaces in the city.

Councillors are due to debate the plan next week with implementation expected some time in the new year.

stock images of cars parked on pavement
stock images of cars parked on pavement

Other local authorities could be set to follow Edinburgh's lead in implementing the ban.

In South Lanarkshire, councillors this week showed support for the ban but have not yet committed to implementing it.

Councillors said levels of car ownership were higher than the amount of parking available in some residential areas.

If it goes ahead, the council said it would adopt a low key "soft approach" to ensure that any enforcement action considers the impact on drivers.

Scottish Borders Council has also held a consultation to identify areas where pavement parking currently happens.

It said information gathered would be used to implement a "case-by-case basis" on where to implement the ban.