Disabled parking abuse challenge

Efforts to curb the abuse of disabled parking bays in Scotland would be an expensive challenge for councils, MSPs have been told.

Labour member Jackie Baillie has proposed legislation that could see able-bodied drivers who park in disabled bays fined up to £60.

It would make disabled parking bays under local council control legally enforceable. At present, 85% of such bays are advisory, and other motorists can park in them without punishment.

But local authority leaders on Edinburgh City Council say the estimated £1.7m national cost of making advisory disabled bays into legally enforceable ones could be exceeded in Edinburgh alone.

In its submission to MSPs, Glasgow City Council said it had 4,500 advisory spaces and 275 enforceable ones. It estimated that the work required to designate the advisory bays as enforceable would cost £2.1m.

Ms Baillie's proposals would also require councils to work with the owners and operators of private car parks, such as supermarkets and out of town shopping centres, to negotiate an agreement to make disabled parking places in these car parks enforceable.

Under the proposed Bill, local authorities would have to report to ministers every year on the enforcement of disabled parking bays in their area.

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