We were particularly delighted that this car has been parked on the pavement in Aberdeen's historic Ruthrieston Road by a driving instructor. You see, cherished traditions are always and everywhere under threat, and we recently learned of such a threat...
At present, PaveParking is not particularly illegal, indeed the beauty of PaveParking, is, of course, that traffic wardens (or those busybody anti-motorist warriors - the "dreaded" community wardens) can't touch you for it: enforcement of footway parking being a police matter, under the “causing danger to other road users” and obstruction provisions of the Road Traffic Act (1988) and the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (1986). However, police usually take the view that they need to observe the vehicle being parked on the footway and then demonstrate that the driver had the intention to obstruct in order to be able to enforce the law. And so in practice it is rarely - if ever! - enforced. Yes, the police know that they've better things to do (like making sure that photographers know that society regards them as dangerous outsiders) than harassing hard-pressed motorists who're just parking cleverly.
PaveParking! It's clever, It's quick, it's convenient, it's free and it's not really all that illegal!
Or so we thought... back in the springtime we learned that Ross Finnie MSP had brought forward proposals for legislation (pdf) to 'regulate' parking on dropped kerbs and pavements. We were horrified to read this personal introduction by Finnie...
Unfortunately, cars parked across a dropped kerb or on a pavement are a common sight across Scotland. Far too many people just don’t realise the difficulty they cause people with mobility issues, especially wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs.
Many constituents have told me first hand of their frustration at not being able either to travel along the pavement freely due to a parked car or, in the case of wheelchair users, of their dismay at being unable to get off or on a pavement at a dropped kerb due to a parked car. For many an inappropriately parked car can be an irritation but for those who are wheelchair users, have mobility issues and have young children in pushchairs the situation is an unnecessary difficulty.We think this is political correctness gone mad. So we were absolutely delighted when, come the election in May, the electorate punished Finnie for his lapse in judgement, and he lost his seat.
But - and here's the horror of it - we recently learned that Joe Fitzpatrick MSP is intending to bring the legislation forward. While we were horrified, we were not particularly surprised. Can it be a coincidence that this MSP, who wants to ban PaveParking is the representative for Dundee East? Can it be a coincidence that a representative of our artist-loving rival city is instrumental in attempting to ban a cherished feature of our way of life in Aberdeen? We know that, having missed out on the oil bonanza of the last 30 years, the Dundonians have an axe to grind and have a vested interest in seeing Aberdeen fail. That they should stoop so low as to try to interfere with our parking arrangements is disgusting and endangers the economic recovery.
PaveParking enhances traffic flow, and lots of flowing traffic on lots of busy roads means that lots of aspirational people in nice cars are going about their nationally-important business with alacrity generating economic growth for Aberdeen "City and Shire". That is the same economic growth which will pull the whole country out of recession, Aberdeen being the key economic powerhouse of the UK. So this proposed legislation from Dundee is anti-car, anti-Aberdeen and, therefore, anti-growth.
So all that's why we were delighted that the BSM driving instructor has placed her vehicle on the pavement - she's making a stand for Aberdeen against the anti-capitalist Dundonians and setting an example to her pupils: "Yes! - learner drivers - the pavements are for you too!"
After all, she is a driving instructor, not a walking instructor! And, judging by her girth, (not shown on photo) she gave up walking many many years ago - why walk when you've got a car? All valuable lessons to those she is teaching to drive (and park!) in Aberdeen.
We were so impressed by this display of PaveParking that we have e-mailed the BSM management to be sure that this instructor is specially singled out.