The Scottish Office has confirmed that an amendment to the Scotland Bill will transfer powers to ban footway parking to Holyrood.
After years of campaigning from charities such as Living Streets Scotland and Guide Dogs Scotland, it was announced that the Scottish Government can introduce future legislation, making it illegal for vehicles to obstruct pavements and dropped kerbs and double park on public roads.
The current SNP Government has already committed to banning footway parking and recently an influential cross party committee identified the need for new legislation. However, further action at Holyrood was not possible until confirmation of the transfer of powers. The tabled Lord’s amendment removes this obstacle, although legislation will need to wait until the next term of the Scottish Parliament.
Stuart Hay, Living Streets Scotland director, said: “The last minute amendment to the Scotland Bill removes the final barrier to outlawing pavement parking. Finally, the Scottish Parliament will have the power to protect older, disabled and vulnerable pedestrians from inconsiderate parking, which is fantastic news.
“We are delighted that the Secretary of State for Scotland is closing this loop hole, which has delayed action for so long. It’s vital that the next Scottish Government swiftly adopts the new powers as pedestrians in Scotland have waited too long for clear footways and dropped kerbs.”
Jane Horsburgh, policy manager for Guide Dog’s Scotland, said: “This is great news for people with sight loss, guide dog owners, wheelchair or mobility scooter users, and families with pushchairs. People with reduced mobility have been waiting a long time for legislation that can take inconsiderate parking off our streets, and allow them to get out and about safely in our communities.”
In a letter addressed to Living Streets, Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell MP said: “I believe that this is a positive outcome that will be welcomed by people across Scotland, who wish to see the Scottish Parliament taking responsibility for and addressing this important issue.”