SHOULD cars be allowed to park on pavements? The obvious answer to this question is, no, of course not.

That’s the view of the Scottish Government and for what it’s worth, it’s also my view.

Cars should be on the road, parked or otherwise, and pavements are for pedestrians. In my experience this generally applies.

The Scottish Government agreed that this should be enshrined in law and did so in 2019, with regulations putting it into effect in December last year.

But, and this is the difficult bit, the world isn’t always that straightforward and the government allows for exceptions to this such as emergency vehicles, and exemptions, where the new restrictions are not practical.

And it’s at this point that issues arise, because not all our streets are sufficiently wide to allow for cars to park ‘properly’ and still allow for vehicles , including emergency ones, to drive down the streets.

Should those cars simply park elsewhere? Possibly, but what happens if there are many streets like this, as is the case in Scotstoun along with other areas?

The government has allowed for parking up on pavements in these circumstances, as long as there is at least 1.5 metres of free pavement width available for pedestrians.

Again, this applies to a number of streets in the city and particularly in Scotstoun.

Now, we should all agree that legislation to ban pavement parking should not be abused by there being wholesale exemptions, but neither should it be applied so unreasonably that effectively penalises residents for the character and construction of their streets, built more than 100 years ago.

And in the interests of openness and transparency, I live in a street that has this issue. What it does mean is that I readily appreciate the concerns that residents have been raising with me as one of their local councillors.

How should the council deal with this? In an ideal world, I would suggest the process should be:

Carry out an audit of streets to assess conditions.

Make decisions on exemptions from the rules.

Enforce the rules once the position is clear.

My concern at the moment is that the council doesn’t have these ducks in the right order and has actually been issuing warning letters to some residents effectively threatening action against them.

I firmly believe that these new rules can be applied fairly for pedestrians, which is its purpose, but it needs to also apply common sense to its decision making.

While there is a presumption that the rules will be broadly applied, the exemptions are not rationed or limited. Exemptions should apply where the conditions fit.

So, lets see these new rules applied in a way that protects pedestrians but doesn’t gratuitously inflict difficulty on residents who have no control of their circumstances and who will frequently be those same pedestrians who are also local residents and car owners.