A consultation being undertaken by a local MSP to introduce a Bill in the Scottish Parliament that will help to eliminate nuisance parking and improve access to our roads and pavements has been extended following a surge of interest from the Scottish public.

The consultation period will now run until 17 August 2012.

Dundee City West MSP Joe FitzPatrick’s Proposed Responsible Parking (Scotland) Bill sets out to introduce appropriate restrictions on parking at dropped kerbs and on pavements.

It is envisaged that the Bill will be of benefit to all of the Scottish public, but especially beneficial to the most vulnerable in society, including the elderly, the disabled, those who are wheelchair or powered mobility vehicle users, as well as parents with buggies and pushchairs.

The consultation document has now also been published in British Sign Language (BSL) to enable all those with an interest, regardless of their disability, to respond to the consultation and play their part in the legislative process.

Joe FitzPatrick said: “My proposed new Bill already has wide support among many disability groups, although I am still hoping to gather further consultation responses before bringing the Bill before Parliament in the Autumn.

“It was felt that producing the consultation in British Sign Language (BSL) format with subtitles would be helpful for some disability groups and this is now available from my office or on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/JoeFitzPatrickMSP

“Cars parked irresponsibly across dropped kerbs or on a pavement can cause real problems for pedestrians, particularly for people with mobility issues and parents with pushchairs.

“In some areas, dropped kerbs and pavements, are protected by a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to make it illegal to park on or over a dropped kerb or pavement with the driver subject to a fixed penalty notice. In most areas in Scotland, however, this is not the case with the vast majority of dropped kerbs and pavements not protected by TROs.

“At present, the Highway Code states at rule 243 in relation to dropped kerbs: ‘Do not stop or park where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles.’ At rule 244 it states that ‘you must not park partially or wholly on the pavement in London and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it.’

“Councils in England and Wales were, in June 2009, given powers under the Traffic Management Act 2004 to introduce blanket Special Enforcement Areas covering vehicles that park on dropped kerbs or double-park without a requirement to provide specific traffic signs or road markings.

“I believe that my Bill will be valuable legislation that will improve the situation in Scotland for those with mobility issues and for parents with pushchairs and I am keen to hear from anyone with a specific interest in the subject who wishes to contact me to find out more or to take part in the consultation before 18th August.”