Has legislation aimed at tackling the misuse of disabled parking places been effective? This is just one of the questions Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee will ask as it launches an investigation into the Disabled Persons’ Parking Places (Scotland) Act 2009.
The Act, which came into force in 2009, was aimed at stopping disabled parking spaces being used by those not entitled to use them. Whilst enforcement action can be taken against non-blue badge holders who park in a disabled persons’ place, some local authorities rely on the goodwill of drivers not to park in what is known as ‘advisory parking places’.
Local Government and Communities Committee Convener, Bob Doris MSP, said:
“Around one million people in Scotland are disabled and rely on disabled persons’ parking in order to access everyday services that most of us take for granted. The abuse of these parking spaces can have a hugely negative impact on the lives of those who rely on these spaces.
“We want to hear from people about whether the legislation is working as well as it should be. Has the legislation simplified the process and helped to stop the misuse of disabled parking on our high streets, private parking and in residential areas?”
The Committee has launched a call for evidence asking:
- If the Act has achieved its aim of preventing disabled persons’ parking spaces being used by those who are not entitled to?
- How well is the local authority in your area carrying out its duties required by the Act to convert all advisory on-street disabled persons’ parking places into enforceable parking places, unless they are no longer required?
- Any other issues relating to the Act which you wish to bring to the attention of the Committee?
The Disabled Persons’ Parking Places (Scotland) Bill was a Members’ bill introduced by Jackie Baillie MSP on 2 June 2008. The bill received Royal Assent on 1 April 2009.
The Act aims to make all disabled persons’ parking places legally enforceable, preventing the misuse of such parking places by those not entitled to use them. Currently, many disabled persons’ parking places are advisory and availability depends on the courtesy and consideration of other drivers.
The Act requires every local authority to undertake a one-off audit of all disabled persons’ parking places within their area, whether on-street or off-street.
The closing date for submissions is Monday 20 March 2017.
Submissions should be limited to no more than six pages of A4. Responses should be sent, wherever possible, electronically and in MS Word format to the following email address: LGCCommittee@parliament.scot.