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Parking and road maintenance

This advice applies to Scotland

Who is responsible for parking and traffic management

The local authority development department is responsible for the management of parking and traffic. It can:

  • set speed limits

  • impose traffic calming measures, like road humps and islands

  • establish permanent or temporary parking restrictions.

Before bringing in new traffic management or parking controls, your local authority must publish details of their proposals in the local papers and may put up notices in the streets concerned. You have a right to comment on these proposals or object to them.

If you’re concerned about traffic

If you believe there should be new traffic or parking controls in a particular street, you can ask your local authority to consider bringing them in. Find contact details for your local authority on mygov.scot.

When you can park outside your home

You don’t have an automatic right to park directly outside your home or to prevent others from doing so, unless parking in a street is prohibited, or a space is reserved by the local authority for a particular resident. For example, a blue badge holder may have a designated parking space. More information on where you can park if you’re a blue badge holder.  

If a car is parked on a pavement

It isn’t an offence to park on the pavement but it is an offence for a parked car to cause an obstruction to others, for example, by blocking a pathway.  

There’s no legal definition of what an obstruction is but, if the police are called, they will decide if the vehicle is blocking the way and can have it removed if the person in charge of it can’t be found.

You should report parked vehicles which are causing a problem to the police by calling 101 or contacting your local police station.

How do I report an abandoned car

To report an abandoned vehicle, you should contact your local authority. Find contact details for your local authority on mygov.scot.

If there’s an abandoned car

It’s an offence to abandon a vehicle on land or on a highway. A local authority or the police must, by law, remove a vehicle which is abandoned on a highway, or on any other open land in their area. Such vehicles may be impounded and the removal and disposal costs charged to the last registered keeper.

If the car was stolen

If the abandoned vehicle was stolen, the registered keeper of the car may not have to pay the costs incurred by the local authority in uplifting and storing or disposal of the vehicle.

If the local authority thinks a vehicle has some value, it must attempt to trace the last registered keeper who has seven days to uplift the vehicle.

How to report a problem with a road or pavement

Contact the development department of your local authority if you have a complaint about the condition of a road or pavement. You should tell your local authority if you believe that defective or icy pavements or roads may cause an accident. Find contact details for your local authority on mygov.scot.

If you’ve been injured

If you’ve suffered a personal injury because of the condition of a street or pavement, for example, you’ve tripped on a paving stone, you may be able to take legal action against the local authority and claim compensation. If you want to take legal action to claim compensation for a personal injury, you'll need to get advice from a solicitor specialising in these types of cases.

Complaining about street works

You should complain to your local authority about problems resulting from street works by utility companies (for example, gas, water, electricity) or cable companies (for example, telecoms engineers). You should ask your local authority to help if:

  • they make it hard to get to your property – but try to take it up first with the company responsible for the works
  • you’re worried about loud noise or air pollution - contact the local authority or use their website to find out the recommended times for construction work
  • the works are dangerous, either when they are in progress, or when they have been finished
  • a road or path is not put back to its original condition.

The development department is also usually responsible for the maintenance of street furniture like traffic lights, street lamps, crossing controls and litter bins.

However, in some cases, another organisation may be responsible, for example, a bus stop or bus shelter may be the responsibility of a private company, or a particular street lamp may be the responsibility of the parish council. The development department should be able to tell you which organisation is responsible. Find contact details for your local authority using mygov.scot

Further help

Fix My Street

Fix my street is a useful website where you can report local problems, for example, abandoned vehicles, unlit lampposts, graffiti, street lighting and broken paving slabs. You can enter details of the problem on a map and it is reported to the local council on your behalf.

More

How to resolve a neighbour dispute
Environmental and pollution problems
Boundary and garden disputes

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