A ban on pavement parking is set come into force in Fife from the start of 2023, according to a new report.
Under the plans, parking on pavements, double-parking and parking across dropped kerbs will all be made illegal, with exemptions for pavements that are wide enough to leave a 1.5m gap for pedestrians and to make way for emergency vehicles.
Fife Council is planning to delegate responsibility for pavement parking to each local area committee, which will have the power to grant exemptions for certain streets where pavement parking might be acceptable.
Those who refuse to follow the rules – put in place to stop cars blocking the way for pedestrians, wheelchair users and those pushing prams – will face council enforcement action.
Phil Clarke, the council’s lead consultant on traffic management, said: “It is intended that the ban on pavement parking will remove many obstructions for pedestrians, particularly those with mobility issues and users of wheelchairs and prams.
“Once fully embedded and accepted as good social and driving practice, the need for active enforcement will reduce.
“Cars parked on the pavement can act as major obstacles for less mobile individuals, either forcing them into traffic or preventing them from travelling altogether.
“This change is designed to improve the lives of the elderly, wheelchair-users and those suffering from other disabilities.”
A nationwide ban on pavement parking was introduced after the Transport (Scotland) Act came into force in 2019.
While the Act introduced the provision of such a ban it has not been brought into force yet due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
When it comes into force local councils will be tasked with enforcing it as they see fit.
Fife Council has acknowledged that the plans carry the risk of “increased public unpopularity” – but maintains that the right of pedestrians, wheelchair users and pram-pushers to use the pavement usurps that of motorists looking for somewhere to park.
In the long term, transport officers believe that the new ban will be accepted and the need to enforce it will decrease – welcome news for the council, which will have to cover the costs of enforcing it along with existing road rules from their own pocket.
Councillors will hear the latest on the ban at a meeting on Thursday.
By local democracy reporter Job Brady