Scotland's pavement parking prohibitions: pre-implementation directions and regulations for local authorities

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Closes 11 Mar 2022

Ministerial Directions


The Scottish Government is seeking views on the Ministerial Directions that will be issued to all Scottish local authorities with regards to actions that must be taken in advance of the pavement parking prohibition being brought into force.  These Directions will enable local authorities to exercise their functions and determine which footways, if any, are appropriate to be exempt from the pavement parking prohibition.

The proposed Directions will set out the mandatory aspects of the parking prohibitions regime that must be carried out by local authorities.

The purpose of the Directions is to specify the assessments that are required to be carried out in connection with making exemption orders, and also the road characteristics that will be required to be identified prior to making an exemption order.

The Directions can be amended at any stage by the Scottish Ministers if required.

Further Directions in regards to the types of uniforms to be worn by parking attendants and information required to be published by local authorities as part of the exemption order process will be set out at a later date.

Road Assessment Considerations

The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, Section 67 (1) of Part 6 sets out that Scottish Ministers may direct local authorities to undertake specific assessments when making exemption orders:

67 Ministerial Directions

(1)The Scottish Ministers may direct local authorities in connection with the exercise of their functions under this Part.

(2)A direction under subsection (1) may, in particular—

          (a)specify assessments to be carried out in connection with the making of exemption orders,

The Directions will include the requirement to conduct road assessments with a view to identifying any potential exemptions in line with a set of defined characteristics. Local authorities are not compelled to conduct assessment of all roads but rather of any they are considering for an exemption. 

Road Characteristics

Section 51 of the Act states that a local authority may make an Exemption Order providing that the pavement parking prohibition does not apply to a particular footway within the local authority’s area which is specified in the order. Section 51 will be brought into force through commencement regulations in 2022.

Section 51 (2) states that:

(2) A footway may not be specified in an exemption order unless it, or the carriageway with which it is associated, has the characteristics specified by the Scottish Ministers in a direction under section 67(1).

Directions by the Scottish Ministers will therefore specify the characteristics that a footway or the carriageway with which it is associated must have to allow a local authority to decide which footways may be appropriate to exempt from the national pavement parking prohibition.

To be considered for an exemption order, a footway, or the carriageway with which it is associated, must have the following characteristics.


      1. the footway is of sufficient width to enable 1.5 metres (down to an absolute minimum of 1.2 metres over a short distance to take account of street furniture) to be available for the passage of non-vehicular traffic (e.g. pedestrians, wheelchair users and mobility scooters) when a vehicle is parked on the footway,


      1. the carriageway associated with a footway is of sufficient restricted width or  access that -
        1. it would be rendered unpassable by emergency vehicles when one or more vehicles are parked on the carriageway, but would be possible to access if vehicles were permitted to park on the footway.

Point A would allow a local authority to consider an exemption order for an area of the footway where there is deemed to be sufficient space to maintain non-vehicular traffic flow whilst still allowing space for vehicles to park safely on the footway.  Point B would allow a local authority to exempt an area of footway from the prohibition to allow safe passage of emergency vehicles.

1. Do you agree or disagree with the proposed road characteristics that would allow local authorities to consider an exemption order from the pavement parking prohibition? Please be as specific as possible in your reasoning.