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Committee approve disabled parking bill
Drivers who abuse disabled drivers’ parking bays have come one step closer to being penalised.
The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee has given its stage 1 approval to a member's bill from Jackie Baillie MSP.
The Disabled Persons’ Parking Places (Scotland) Bill aims to make all disabled parking places enforceable – including those in supermarkets – with fines of up to £60 for those who breach the ban. Currently, most disabled parking places across Scotland are courtesy spaces where non-blue badge holders can park without fear of penalty.
While the committee largely approved the bill, it did make recommendations on both the timescale and costs of implementation.
Convener Duncan McNeil MSP said: “We believe that a year after the Act comes into force is adequate time for local authorities to complete an audit of disabled parking bays, and the minister should only sanction an extension in exceptional circumstances.
"The committee also agrees that the estimate of £1.7 million for promotion and implementation is subject to a degree of doubt. However, if the bill is passed we would expect the Scottish Government and COSLA to negotiate the implementation costs so that local authorities are not unduly burdened."
The committee, he said, had been impressed by the “can-do” attitude of Asda to its enforcement of parking space and recommended other supermarkets took note.
Mr McNeil added that although the operation of the blue badge scheme was not within the purposes of the bill, the committee were alarmed by the reported levels of fraud involving the scheme, and recommended that abuse of the scheme in Scotland should be addressed.