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Rutherglen Reformer - - News fron the Pews -

A reg­u­lar com­plaint from lo­cal peo­ple is about ve­hi­cles park­ing on the pave­ment – in­creas­ingly even on busy roads like Fern­hill Road, Blair­beth Road or Dukes Road.

This can be a sig­nif­i­cant dan­ger for many peo­ple, forc­ing them to walk on the road to get round the ob­struct­ing ve­hi­cle – not safe for a blind per­son with a guide dog, a mother with a tod­dler or an older per­son with a stick.

But there are ar­eas like Croft­foot where the streets are so nar­row that there is sim­ply no room un­less ve­hi­cles can park on both sides of the road – only pos­si­ble with pave­ment park­ing. A gen­eral ban would also give coun­cils a ma­jor headache pro­vid­ing re­sources to en­force it.

In some streets, foot­way park­ing may be tol­er­ated in or­der to al­low traf­fic flow – and may be harm­less to pedes­tri­ans so long as there is suf­fi­cient room to pass.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment have promised to leg­is­late on the sub­ject - prob­a­bly to bring in a gen­eral ban on pave­ment park­ing sub­ject to ex­empt ar­eas agreed by lo­cal coun­cils. This fol­lowed de­bate on a back­bench bill – the Foot­way Park­ing and Dou­ble Park­ing (Scot­land) Bill - orig­i­nally put for­ward by for­mer Lib­eral Demo­crat MSP Ross Fin­nie.

One MSP said dur­ing the de­bate that we needed to “re­bal­ance our re­la­tion­ship as a so­ci­ety with cars gen­er­ally”. Easy to say but much more dif­fi­cult to do.

Re­duc­ing the ar­eas where pave­ment park­ing oc­curs is right. Op­tions like stricter pow­ers to re­quire house­hold­ers to cut over­hang­ing hedges – or a line on the mid­dle of wider pave­ments mark­ing how far in cars can park - might help.

But is it time for more rad­i­cal so­lu­tions? More cy­cle fa­cil­i­ties; car­pool­ing; in­cen­tives to re­duce car own­er­ship; Bet­ter and more lo­calised public trans­port; more imag­i­na­tive use of streets? It’s worth re­mem­ber­ing that the costs of run­ning a car are one of the big­gest fam­ily out­lays.

If pave­ment park­ing is to be elim­i­nated, then part of the an­swer has got to be fewer cars. Is it time for Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang to lead the way with an am­bi­tious Lo­cal Traf­fic Plan?

Park­ing is­sues Coun­cil­lor Robert Brown

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