Scotland politics

Holyrood to be handed powers to tackle problem parking

Car on pavement
Image caption Scotland Office minister Andrew Dunlop said inconsiderate parking "makes life difficult for pedestrians"

New powers to tackle problem parking in Scotland are to be handed to Holyrood from Westminster.

The UK government has confirmed that it will amend the Scotland Bill to allow the Scottish Parliament to deal with issues such as parking on pavements.

A members' bill looking at outlawing vehicles blocking walkways is currently being considered by MSPs.

However, it had been unclear whether Holyrood or Westminster had the power to legislate.

Scotland Office minister Andrew Dunlop acknowledged that there had been a long-standing question over the "legal competence of Holyrood to act in this area".

He believed the amendment to the Scotland Bill, which will result in more powers being devolved to the Edinburgh parliament, would make the matter of who legislates clear.

Traffic wardens' backing

Lord Dunlop said: "I am very pleased that we are able to act on giving Holyrood the powers to tackle inconsiderate parking.

"We know that inconsiderate parking makes life difficult for pedestrians, and I am grateful to Living Streets Scotland, Guide Dogs Scotland and other groups who have raised this important issue.

"There has long been a demand for the Scottish Parliament be able to tackle this issue, and I am pleased that we have been able to do so. This is a good example of the UK government working with the Scottish government to deliver for people in Scotland."

SNP backbencher Sandra White has proposed new legislation to make it an offence to park on pavements or beside dropped kerbs.

However, her Footway Parking and Double Parking (Scotland) Bill was facing failure because Holyrood did not have the power to legislate on road safety.

Under the current law, only driving on the pavement is prohibited unless councils have passed specific traffic regulations.

Ms White, the MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, wants to give traffic wardens across Scotland the right to ticket vehicles that are causing an obstruction.

The proposal has received the backing of traffic wardens, the fire service and charities such as Guide Dogs Scotland.

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