REMINDER: Parking on Pavements in Garvald & East Lothian

East Lothian Council will be enforcing parking on pavements in the future. We, as a Community Council, will be asking for an exemption order as you come into the village and on the corner going towards the church where parking on the pavement takes place at the moment. If implemented the fine is £100 reduced to £50 if paid within a specified time.

Parking on pavements, double parking and parking at lowered kerbs causes inconvenience, safety and accessibility issues for all. It causes challenges for vulnerable road users, such as children, due to restricted visibility when trying to cross the road safely and particularly affects those with visual or physical impairments or mobility issues such as wheelchair users or carers with prams and buggies, often forcing them to use the live carriageway to proceed past an obstruction.

The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 provided powers for local authorities to prohibit pavement parking, double parking and lowered kerb parking. These powers became live when the Parking Prohibitions (Enforcement and Accounts) (Scotland) Regulations 2023 came into force on 11th December 2023. The aim of this new legislation is to improve walking conditions for pedestrians and to grant local authorities additional enforcement powers to help keep footways and lowered kerbs clear of parked vehicles.

The default position is that parking on pavements (which includes partly on pavements), double parking and parking at lowered kerbs is now unlawful throughout Scotland.

For roads where enforcement of this legislation may cause significant operational or practical difficulties the legislation permits roads authorities, such as East Lothian Council, to create exemption orders which would permit parking on pavements for specified roads which meet strict criteria.

To promote an exemption order the authority must be able to evidence that:

  1. The road carriageway width is insufficient to permit vehicles previously parked on the pavement to park on the road without obstructing the free flow of traffic, particularly emergency service vehicles. For practical purposes this means that the carriageway must be a minimum of 5.5 metres from kerb to kerb or verge to verge.

  2. That the pavement is sufficiently wide to permit pavement parking while maintaining a continuous, minimum clear passage of 1.5 metres for pedestrians and other users.

  3. If neither of these criteria can be met, then an exemption order cannot be made and parking restrictions may have to be considered to prevent obstruction of the road.

In preparation for the introduction of the regulations all roads across East Lothian were visually assessed during the day and in the evenings, aiming to provide an understanding of parking behaviour and in particular the potential impact and / or displacement of vehicles where footway parking currently exists.

This exercise has identified several roads requiring to be formally subject to detailed assessment. This will involve staff carrying out site visits to measure footway and carriageway width at these locations to identify whether an Exemption Order to allow footway parking may be appropriate or whether parking restrictions may be required where the footway is not wide enough to accommodate parking, but the road would be blocked as a result.

While officers have identified several roads where exemption orders or parking restrictions there may be required, those who live and work in our communities have the best local knowledge of their areas.

Chair, Garvald & Morham CC