Fife Council has asked officers to look at the pavement parking provisions contained in the Transport (Scotland) Bill and the impacts it will have on the local authority’s lining policy after concerns were raised by Dunfermline Liberal Democrat councillor James Calder about the issue.
Mr Calder specifically raised the topic of H Bar markings, which are used to indicate areas where people should not park or block with their cars but are not necessarily visible and are often flouted.
However, his motion to full council calling for a clear policy governing the use of H Bar markings was voted down in favour of an administration amendment looking at the forthcoming legislation - and what it will mean for residents, road users and indeed the council’s transportation services staff - in more detail.
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The new laws being introduced by the Scottish Government will provide local authorities with powers to enforce the ban on pavement parking when it comes into force in 2023, but question marks remain about exemptions and how enforcement will actually work.
Mr Calder said he had been approached by a number of locals concerned that H Bar markings seem to be fewer and further between, and are not necessarily being repainted when they fade.
“A lot of residents, particularly elderly ones, have been concerned about people parking over them and they have felt they can’t challenge that behaviour,” he said.
“I’ve had some people saying that when they have challenged it they’ve had abuse shouted at them.
“There’s not an actual policy in place and I want to be able to point to something that has been agreed by the council in this respect.”
Councillor Altany Craik, convener of the council’s economy, tourism, strategic planning and transportation sub-committee, pointed out that H Bar markings are currently an advisory measure and are just one of the tools available to councils to ensure pavements and roads are more accessible and safer for all.
But he added: “Yes there are problems with H Bars and some people abusing them but generally I think compliance is good and most people are not unreasonable if they are asked to move.
“That said, over COVID, some reactions have become a bit more acute and a bit more energised shall we say.”
The closer look at what the pavement parking provisions will mean for Fife comes after the council previously raised concerns about the implications across the Kingdom more generally.
Those include issues with enforcement, funding, and where people will park their cars in some of Fife’ more narrow roads and streets.
The Transport (Scotland) Act does contain the provision for local authorities to promote exemptions from the national ban, but they will be required to meet strict criteria.
Detailed standards and guidance will be produced for local authorities to deliver a consistent approach in how they enforce the new parking restrictions, while councils will also be asked to keep accounts in relation to any money they receive from the enforcement of the new restrictions.