A Strategic Assessment of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Roads – What are the Effects of the National Ban on Footway Parking? TRANSPORT Smart Class, Scotland 2022 Retrospective


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The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 introduced the statutory framework for a national ban on pavement parking, double parking, and parking on dropped kerbs. Transport Scotland describes the aim of the prohibition as being to minimise the detrimental impact that obstructive and irresponsible parking can have on vulnerable groups, as well as emergency vehicles and other road users in general.

Since then, Transport Scotland has run a series of consultations to help develop a suite of secondary legislation necessary to bring new legislation into force. The enforcement of the legislation will likely take place in 2023-2024.

The Act gives local authorities the relevant powers to enforce these new provisions and the power to exempt footways from the pavement parking prohibition provided they meet certain characteristics, as specified by Scottish Ministers.

Project Centre developed a methodology to assess all the adopted roads inside the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC). The resultant assessment categorised these roads in accordance with the levels of footway parking identified, helping CEC improve their understanding of the issues.

At TRANSPORT Smart Class, Scotland 2022, Gavin Sherriff (CEC’s Senior Transport Team Leader – Parking Operations) and Eduardo Martin Moral (a Principal Engineer at Project Centre) teamed up at the podium to outline the process and the benefits of having this information to hand. They were joined for the subsequent roundtable sessions by Project Centre’s Director of Operations, Graham Storrie.

Gavin and Eduardo’s presentation addressed:

  • Background – Why do we need to change? The Scottish Government and local authorities’ commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2045; Edinburgh’s goal to achieve Net Zero by 2030; Need for City Mobility Plan to deliver a sustainable, integrated, efficient, safe and inclusive transport system; Current issues – low levels of public transport accessibility in certain areas, certain locations exceed air quality objectives, Edinburgh citizens do not achieve the minimum recommended levels of physical activity, travel time and congestion at peak times, amplification risk with city and regional growth;
  • Background – Scottish local authorities’ Transport strategies – objectives and commitments
  • Background – Primary legislation: Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 Part 6 prohibited pavement parking, double parking, and dropped footway parking. Why was the pavement parking ban introduced?
  • Background – Legislation timeline, 1974-2024;
  • Project scope – ‘Complete a study to assess the levels of footway parking in Edinburgh and the impact associated with the enforcement of the legislation.’: >5,000 roads, 17 wards, mix of street types, rural/urban;
  • Project aims – Provide an improved understanding of the city’s streets and in particular, the potential impact of the legislation; Identification of locations where footway parking currently exists; Provide recommendations on possible mitigation measures to improve conditions should the introduction of the legislation not achieve its aims;
  • Methodology – Desktop Assessment; Preliminary RAG Classification; Preliminary GIS Map; Desktop Assessment – red granular study; Site visits – red + unclassified; Identification of mitigation measures; Detailed Granular GIS Map; Report with findings;

  • Results from assessing circa 5,200 roads, and analysing footway parking in all 17 Council wards: 25% of wards had >16% red roads; 50% of wards had >12% red roads; 75% of wards had >8% red roads; 100% of wards had >2% red roads; The ward with the greatest % of red roads included had 21%; Only 5 roads remained ‘Unclassified’;
  • Geospatial analysis – Cluster analysis –  Cluster: a group of roads, or segments, near each other that are all classified as RED and significant parking displacement could occur as a result of the introduction of the new legislation. Residents and visitors to areas identified as clusters may face increased parking problems and may require further monitoring and/or potential mitigation measures – 50% of wards had 0 clusters, 75% of wards had <2 clusters, 100% of wards had <3 clusters;
  • Results – Fact sheets & Maps;
  • Outcomes – Around 3,000 vehicles were observed parking on Edinburgh’s pavements, which creates significant obstacles for pedestrians and a negative impact on accessibility; The areas identified with significant pavement parking provides the Council with valuable information on the monitoring and enforcement likely to be required. This will help the Council to plan for and allocate resources better when enforcement of the new legislation commences; There is a presumption against the introduction of any pavement parking exemptions; The Council has a better understanding of the possible areas where parking pressures and displacement may arise as a result of the legislation coming into effect; The Council has a number of potential mitigation measures to consider for each red road should the introduction of the legislation not achieve its aims. Indicative implementation costs are suggested to help with budget planning where necessary;
  • Opportunities – Standardise the reporting of pavement parking to minimise repetition while providing a high level of detail for each street and area assessed in the study; Consider in more detail significant trip generators (e.g. leisure centres, schools, hospitals, gyms) in the vicinity of red roads and assess the impact associated with parking displacement resulting from the introduction of the legislation; Share information and develop an understanding of how different Scottish local authorities are assessing pavement parking; Develop a standard way to assess pavement parking and parking displacement across all Scottish local authority areas.

If you meet our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us at Citation, Glasgow, for the live in-person event on December 7th, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Gavin and Eduardo’s initial presentation).

Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, trialling, partnering and policy leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers and planners from local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public transport operators; regional transport partnerships, sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; highways authorities and road operators; government and supporting national transport agencies; fleet operators, parking operators, prime contractors etc.

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TRANSPORT Smart Class, Scotland 2022

On December 7th we will be casting a spotlight over Scotland, hosting our speakers discussions on how the latest digital innovations can help overcome the transport and mobility challenges faced by the city-regions of Glasgow & Clyde Valley, Edinburgh & South East Scotland, Stirling, Tay, Aberdeen, Inverness & Highlands, and beyond.


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