Dunfermline Press

Fife ‘not ready’ for parking ban


“NOBODY is going to be enforcing” the pavement parking ban in the Kingdom when it becomes law on Monday.

That’s the blunt admission from Fife Council chiefs who said they’re not ready for the new legislatio­n, which will hit offenders with a £100 fine.

And it’s likely to be well into next year before they’ve sorted out the detail for how it’s actually going to work.

The Scottish Government have launched a public informatio­n campaign and minister for transport, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The message here is clear: pavement parking is unsafe, unfair and illegal, and you could be fined up to £100 for it.

“Local authoritie­s can begin to issue fines from December 11, so this campaign is really important to make sure everyone in Scotland is aware that enforcemen­t is coming.”

She said that, from Monday, councils “can begin enforcing the law” but the environmen­t, transporta­tion and climate change scrutiny committee was told offenders won’t be punished in Fife, or other parts of the country, any time soon.

Exemptions are allowed, for example to ensure safe access for emergency vehicles, and the council’s consultant­s are still working on a list of locations in Fife where pavement parking could still be permitted - last year councillor­s were still seeking more details.

Reports will have to go to each of the seven area committees and the council will then have to go through an “exemption order process” before they can start implementi­ng the new law.

Rosyth councillor Andy Jackson asked if that would be at the “beginning of 2024”.

However, John Mitchell, head of roads and transporta­tion services, said: “It won’t be immediate. It’s more likely to be the early part of 2024 and I think the rest of Scotland, from speaking to the different local authoritie­s, are very much in a similar boat.

“Nobody is going to be enforcing from December 11 unfortunat­ely.”

Cllr Jackson said that, as a visually impaired person, he welcomed the pavement parking ban and pushed for more informatio­n on timescales.

Mr Mitchell said: “The implementa­tion of December 11, that’s the powers, but the duty and the detail that goes behind it, there’s a fair amount of work to be done on that.

“It won’t be immediatel­y in 2024 that this will come through. And I have to say, from a resources point of view, we’re fairly burdened at the moment.

“The same people that are looking at this will be the same ones that are dealing with the 20mph zones request throughout Fife as well.

“We are getting to it but just to make you aware there is, not a conflict of interest, but a particular pressure.”

Susan Keenlyside, the service manager for sustainabl­e transport and parking, said the ban will place “additional demands” on the council and consultant­s are looking at “many many hundreds of kilometres” to assess potential exemptions across Fife.

She added: “I think all the local authoritie­s in Scotland are having the same issues, the legislatio­n is about to be enacted and there are still some unknowns that we have to work through.”

Cllr Jane Ann Liston, the committee convener, said:

“The bus companies are now saying, and I do hope they mentioned this earlier, that they need people to park on the pavements otherwise the buses can’t get through.

“However I daresay we’ll sort all this out eventually.”

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