Police in Rothesay plan to continue a common-sense approach towards vehicles which park on pavements around the town, Bute Community Council was told this week.
That will involve punishing motorists who leave cars in places where they obstruct pedestrians and force them on to the road - but not those vehicles which are left in areas with plenty of space for walkers to avoid them.
The issue has been hotly debated in Rothesay for many years, particularly in relation to Battery Place on the town’s seafront, where the pavement on the seaward side is regularly occupied by parked vehicles, many of them owned by visitors staying at the B&Bs and hotels nearby.
Inspector Gordon Anderson, Police Scotland’s senior officer on Bute, told BCC’s monthly meeting this week: “It is illegal to park on the pavement, but the cars parked in Battery Place haven’t been ticketed.
“If we start issuing tickets there, we’re going to have to issue them to everybody. Do we start issuing tickets to everyone who parks in Battery Place regardless of the impact it’s going to have on visitors and on B&Bs? We would prefer a common sense approach.”
BCC member Gertie Reynolds agreed, and said: “As far as Battery Place is concerned there’s no other place for people to park their cars, and if the law was strictly enforced it would have a big impact on the guest houses.”
Local Argyll and Bute councillor Robert Macintyre said there had been proposals in the past to reduce the width of the pavement on the seaward side of Battery Place - already one of the broadest walkways on the island - but these had fallen in the face of opposition from nearby residents.
Councillor Macintyre observed that Inspector Anderson’s predecessor, Macdonald Stephen, had once complained that “folk on Bute park wherever they like”.
Inspector Anderson replied: “The problem is laziness. Just because you’ve done something for ten years and not been ticketed doesn’t make it right.”