Parking and road maintenance

This advice applies to Scotland. See advice for See advice for England, See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Wales

Who is responsible for parking and traffic management

The local council 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 council must publish details of its proposals in the local papers and might 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 council to consider bringing them in. Find contact details for your local council on

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 council for a particular resident. For example, a blue badge holder might 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 is illegal to park on a pavement except in limited circumstances.

The ban on pavement parking does not apply to some vehicles, such as those involved in emergencies or delivering goods, but there are still rules about how they should be parked.

The local council can also exempt a pavement from the ban. There should be a sign to tell you if it has done that.

The local council can enforce the pavement parking ban and issue a penalty charge notice. Find out more about parking tickets issued by the local council.

Find out more about the pavement parking ban on the Transport Scotland website or from your local council. You can find your local council on

How do I report an abandoned car

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

If there’s an abandoned car

It’s an offence to abandon a vehicle on land or on a highway. A local council or the police must, by law, remove a vehicle that is abandoned on a highway, or on any other open land in their area. Such vehicles might 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 might not have to pay the costs incurred by the local council in uplifting and storing or disposal of the vehicle.

If the local council 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 council if you have a complaint about the condition of a road or pavement. You should tell your local council if you believe that defective or icy pavements or roads might cause an accident. Find contact details for your local council on

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 might be able to take legal action against the local council 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 council 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 council 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 council or use its 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 might be responsible, for example, a bus stop or bus shelter might be the responsibility of a private company, or a particular street lamp might still be the responsibility of the council but looks different because it has been awarded for someone's civic duty. The development department should be able to tell you which organisation is responsible. Find contact details for your local council on

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.