It all started with a simple Tweet of a car parked on a pavement - then it snowballed with vociferous and unrestrained comments from both sides of the debate.
This followed our reporting that the Scottish Parliament is set to get new powers to deal with nuisance and inconsiderate parking, which some say can’t come quickly enough before someone is killed trying to dodge poorly parked cars.
The UK Government has made amendments to the Scotland Bill to make it clear that Holyrood has the power to tackle problems such as parking on pavements.
Lord Dunlop, Scotland Office minister said: “I am very pleased that we are able to act on giving Holyrood the powers to tackle inconsiderate parking.
“We know that inconsiderate parking makes life difficult for pedestrians, and I am grateful to Living Streets Scotland, Guide Dogs Scotland and other groups who have raised this important issue.
“There has long been a demand for the Scottish Parliament be able to tackle this issue, and I am pleased that we have been able to do so.
“This is a good example of the working with the Scottish Government to deliver for people in Scotland.”
The Twitter spat was started by a reader who tweets using the name @ErnieMarples who posted an image to The Extra’s feed on March 3 showing a line of vehicles parked blocking a pavement in Shawlands.
In the days that followed it appeared this was not an isolated incident as picture after picture was posted by various people showing cars and vans parked on pavements, blocking dropped kerbs, parked on double yellow lines, on junctions and more.
The discussions which ensued showed that inconsiderate and selfish parking is something of a two-edged sword. On one side of this issue are the pedestrians, wheelchair users and parents of children who are forced to dodge and weave around badly parked vehicles which block pavements. On the other side we have the homeowners who say that parking on-street outside their homes is impossible and that if they don’t park on the pavements the road would be blocked.
It’s certainly not an easy issue to resolve, with one side saying ‘pavements are for people’ and the others claiming they’re just doing what they have to to ensure that emergency service vehicles can access the streets.
Chief Inspector Simon Jeacock, Local Area Commander for the Southside of Glasgow, said: “Parking is a decriminalised matter and is the responsibility of the local council, where parking restrictions exist. In this area, Glasgow City Council has local community traffic wardens responsible for enforcing all parking offences.
“However, this does not preclude police officers from enforcing legislation if a vehicle is causing an obstruction or is a danger to pedestrians or other road users. If that is the case, then police can be contacted to attend and assess the situation and take the appropriate action.”
“We are committed to supporting local residents in this area and to keep road users and pedestrian safe. We would encourage responsible driver behaviour and anyone with any concerns should contact police via 101.”
Presenter and journalist, Michelle McManus tweeted: “Trying to park after 6pm in Shawlands is impossible.” We then contacted Michelle who said: “Lack of residential on street parking is an issue all over Glasgow and not just exclusive to the Southside. However, as a resident of Shawlands I know first hand how bad the situation is as both a driver and a pedestrian. I live on Skirving Street and if drivers don’t mount the pavement slightly then it would be impossible for other vehicles, including bin lorries, ambulances and fire engines, to gain access. I know this isn’t ideal and I would welcome any suggestions or alternatives the council could offer.”
Twitter follower Joel Cooney suggested: “The answer is parking permits - sensibly ration parking available and charge market rate.”
Jane Horsburgh, policy manager for Guide Dogs Scotland, said: “This is great news for people with sight loss, guide dog owners, wheelchair or mobility scooter users, and families with pushchairs.
“People with reduced mobility have been waiting a long time for legislation that can take inconsiderate parking off our streets, and allow them to get out and about safely in our communities.”
Stuart Hay, Living Streets Scotland Director said: “The last minute amendment to the Scotland Bill removes the final barrier to outlawing pavement parking.
“Finally, the Scottish Parliament will have the power to protect older, disabled and vulnerable pedestrians from inconsiderate parking, which is fantastic news.”