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Whether parking a vehicle on or off the road it is important that motorists make themselves aware of any restrictions that may be in place at that location. Details of any restriction are usually displayed via information plates or boards.  It is the responsibility of Motorists to understand whether they are complying with the terms and conditions of any restrictions.

Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE)

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Any local authority may apply to the Scottish Ministers for orders decriminalising certain parking offences within their area. Upon completion of their application, offences cease to be the responsibility of the police and instead become the responsibility of the local authority concerned.

A local authority which operates a Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) regime employs parking attendants who place Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) on vehicles contravening parking regulations.

Penalty charges are considered civil debts, and revenue generated accrues to the Local Authority to finance the enforcement and adjudication of the scheme. Any surpluses are used firstly to improve off-street parking facilities and secondly for general traffic management and public transport purposes

Motorists wishing to contest liability for a penalty charge may have representation to the local authority concerned and, if rejected may have grounds to appeal to independent adjudicators whose decision is final.

Guide to application process and Q&A for Local Authorities

For more information regarding DPE and the application process, please contact

Disabled Persons Parking Places (Scotland) Act 2009 

Image of Disabled parking signThe aim of the Disabled Persons Parking Places (Scotland) Act 2009 is that all disabled street parking places become enforceable. A duty has been imposed on local authorities to identify all existing advisory disabled street parking places and, for those still needed, to promote orders to make it an offence to park without a valid Blue Badge

Our Role
A requirement is placed on local authorities to report to Scottish Ministers on their performance in relation to their function and duties under the Act. Scottish Ministers are required to collate this information and report to the Scottish Parliament on the overall performance of local authorities. Transport Scotland gathers and collates this information in an annual report to Ministers. Annual reports and documents.

Annual reports and documents

Parking on Private Land

Privately operated car parks are not subject to the provisions of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 or the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.  It is up to private companies to decide how to lawfully manage their operations.  Drivers parking in privately owned car parks – e.g. a supermarket or hospital car park, it is assumed that they have agreed to enter into a contract with the landholder, which may or may not result in a fee.  Motorists should ensure they understand the operators’ terms and conditions before choosing to park.

Large numbers of private car parking operators are members of the British Parking Association (BPA) or Independent Parking Committee (IPC), who operate strict codes of practice, which sets out how their members should act.

In 2014, the Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) published a report entitled “It’s Not Fine”, which expressed criticism about the unfair charges from private parking operators.  On 22 September, the Minister for Transport and Islands responded to a Member’s Parliamentary debate (S4M-13861) about the CAS report and in particular, issues on signage and level of fines.  In a speech to the Scottish Parliament, the Minister made it clear that:

“we will move forward to ensure that people are treated more fairly, which is the essence of the CAS campaign.  ….The Scottish Government will take on board all today’s comments and convey them to all the operators.  We will strive for a fairer, more transparent and more reasonable approach…”. 

Motorists disputing a private parking charge can get advice from CAS.  They can also take the matter up with the operator.  If the operator rejects your appeal, you can submit an appeal to the Independent Appeals Service, which was extended to Scotland in April 2015.

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