RESIDENTS of an area plagued by parking problems have welcomed political moves to get cars off the pavements outside their homes.

People living around Chancellor Street in Glasgow's west end say that every day vehicles block access to their properties, restrict pedestrian walkways and make life difficult for delivery men and the emergency services.

They have given their backing to proposals being debated by MSPs to make it an offence to park on a pavement, double park or to block dropped kerbs.

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The Responsible Parking Bill was formally launched at Holyrood yesterday by Sandra White, the SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, who declared: "Pavements are for people not cars."

The initiative is supported by charities representing older people, wheelchair users and other vulnerable groups, as well as the emergency services.

Retired firefighter Alan Sheerin, 54, whose mother lives near Chancellor Street, said: "I've seen cars lifted by the council for parking where they shouldn't, but within 15 minutes the spaces were full again."

Indicating one particularly congested area, he added: "You couldn't get a fire engine through there and that's putting lives at risk. There just isn't enough room to operate an appliance.

"Legislation is needed, but you would also have to redesign the pavement to make more parking bays. These roads weren't designed for this level of traffic."

John Mullan, 64, who lives in nearby Elie Street, said: "You see people having to go round cars on the pavement every day and walk on the road. You see young women with prams having to leave the pavement.

"I'm fed up with it. The problem is often caused by people who don't even live around here – they just leave their cars.

"Locals can't get parked and if I have a visitor they have to leave their car streets away."

Taxi driver Stephen Ridell, 43, said double parking made it hard for him to do his job.

He added: "People leave their cars blocking the road, or they park on the pavements at corners and it's almost impossible to get past because it narrows the road.

"Some roads are hard for me to negotiate in my taxi and I can't see an ambulance or a fire engine being able to do it.

"It's difficult, but there are so many cars on the roads."

David Stormonth, 49, a gas inspector from Old Kilpatrick, admitted he was guilty of parking on the pavement as he made his way to a job in one of the flats nearby.

He said: "I shouldn't have parked there, but someone pulled out and there was no other spaces available.

"It's the first time I've parked there. The problem is that there is nowhere else around here and I would have to leave my van 10 streets away and walk to the job.

"But I wouldn't want to block someone who is trying to walk along the pavement, so I would be happy if parking on the pavement was banned."

Ms White launched the bill following a consultation on the proposals that attracted more than 400 responses – 95% of which were in favour.

She said: "This has had one of the highest responses for a Members Bill.

"If you are blind, or in a wheelchair, or with a pram it is ridiculous – it is criminal – that you cannot walk on the pavement.

"There are drivers who are inconsiderate.

"We have the backing of the fire service and the police, and traffic wardens are also in support of legislation."