Scotland passes up opportunity to close cycle lane parking loophole

Today MSPs failed to make the most of the opportunity to close a legal loophole that allows people to park in some mandatory parking lanes but not others.
Cycling UK says it’s disappointed a chance to close legal loophole in Scotland was missed after MSPs at Holyrood voted against fixing a law which allowed parking in a cycle lane.

The charity discovered the law had been changed in Westminster three years ago which effectively removed the offence of parking in a mandatory cycle lane and put it out of step with the Highway Code.

The changes were made without debate or consultation.

Cycling UK argued this undermined the safety of cyclists using cycle lanes.

But on Wednesday (9 Oct), the Scottish Parliament voted against amending the law in Scotland after a campaign by the charity which saw 5,500 emails sent to MSPs by members of the public asking for the law to be changed.

Jim Densham, Cycling UK’s Campaigns and Policy Manager for Scotland, said:

“This is a disappointing missed opportunity to finally close a legal loophole so it would once again become an offence to park, as well as drive or ride in a mandatory cycle lane, that is one marked by a solid white line.

“We want everyone to understand that parking in a cycle lane risks the safety of people riding bikes because a vehicle parked in a cycle lane forces them to move or swerve out into traffic, putting them in danger.

“And although the law has not been updated, we would urge all drivers to be considerate and not park in any cycle lane, either mandatory lanes, or advisory lanes which are marked with a white dashed line.”

The amendment to the Transport (Scotland) Bill was submitted by Colin Smyth MSP (Labour).

Notes to editors

  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.

Press contact information

For more information, contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email