Working for you
COUNCILLOR ROBERT BROWN
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