By Jennifer Popplewell •
Published: 11 Dec 2023 • 10:12
AS of today, Monday December 11, drivers in Scotland can be fined £100 for parking on the pavement.
A public information campaign has been in full force over the recent weeks in order to make residents of Scotland aware that they could soon be fined for these parking behaviours. The Transport Act 2019 bans pavement parking, double parking and parking at dropped kerbs, with certain exemptions designated by local authorities, for example to ensure safe access for emergency vehicles. From today, December 11 2023, local authorities will begin enforcing the law, meaning anyone breaking it will receive the £100 penalty, which may be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days. Whether or not this amount will be enough to deter these determined drivers, only time will tell.
The ongoing information campaign is being broadcasted through street, radio and social media advertising, and aims to highlight the dangers pavement parking can cause, one of which is forcing pedestrians to take unnecessary risks by moving around the car and onto the road.
“The message here is clear: pavement parking is unsafe, unfair and illegal, and you could be fined up to £100 for it,” stated the Minister for Transport Fiona Hyslop. She continued to explain that “we’re highlighting the danger that illegal pavement parking poses to pavement users, and in particular those with mobility issues or visual impairments, or parents pushing prams and buggies.”
Mike Harrison, a resident of Scotland who has also been a wheelchair user for 17 years, explained to the National Transport of Scotland that “vehicles on the pavement can be a severe obstacle. It increases my journey time, I’m often in danger as once you’re on the road, of course, you’re more vulnerable.”
Scotland is the first of the four nations that make up the UK to make pavement parking completely illegal, without exception. Here in Spain, cars can often be found parked in an array of places that one may not even think to imagine in the UK, a common one of those of course, being right on top of the pavement.
Euro Weekly News spoke to Laura Alvarez, a mother of three under three currently living in Marbella, Spain. She explained that “I don’t have a car, so I have to walk everywhere with my massive pram. When cars park on the pavement I have to often walk on to busy roads and put not only myself, but also my small children in danger.” Another resident of Spain, Barry Hall, aged 72, told EWN that “if I have to travel more than 500 metres then I use my electric wheelchair, but I’m not so confident on it, and when I have to do what feels like circus tricks to get around inconsiderately parked cars, it feels very unfair and unnecessary. The pavement is for pedestrians”. When asked if Spain should enforce these strict fines both residents let out a resounding “of course!”
So should Spain be the next nation to enforce this parking penalty? It seems that life would become a lot easier for many who need the safety and protection that the pedestrian pavement offers, but perhaps a little more inconvenient for those drivers that are in a rush!
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Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.
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