HOMEOWNERS in Scotland are rushing to convert their front gardens into driveways as concerns grow about the outlawing of pavement parking in Scotland.

Across the country successful applications for installing dropped kerbs to allow parking access at the front of houses, have risen by 55 per cent between 2013 and 2015.

Concerns over the rising costs and constraints over on-street parking is believed to be fuelling the trend.

Proposals to ban double parking and parking on pavements are expected to go out for consultation over the next weeks while there has been a major expansion of of charged parking zones across Scottish cities in recent years.

HeraldScotland: Have your say: where else should the council stop pavement parking?Rebecca Clapham, head of household products at Direct Line, said: “There is clearly a desire across the to create off-street parking at properties, driven by both convenience and property value.

“Homeowners in Scotland have seen a significant increase in applications and we’re seeing the fastest increase in applications in more suburban areas of Scotland.

“Scotland already has a much higher approval rate for dropped kerb applications – 93 per cent compared to the UK average of 70 per cent – and with calls from local authorities to increase the policing of illegal pavement parking, we anticipate that the number of applications made will continue to rise as drivers look to ensure a convenient parking space and avoid hefty fines for illegal parking.”

The surge of applications for dropped kerbs comes after Sandra White, SNP MSP for Kelvin, last year called for legislation to prosecute those drivers who park on pavements.

The Footway Parking and Double Parking Bill was backed by the Local Government Committee who said it had identified a serious problem.

A Scottish Government review was due to be completed by March 31, which was expected to look into the complexities over the implementation and enforcement of future legislation on banning pavement parking and double parking. 

Although it is illegal to drive on the pavement throughout England, Scotland and Wales, it is rarely enforced for drivers who park on the kerb, as councils and police fear the parking problem will just be displaced elsewhere.

Surveyors also say that off-street parking makes homes more desirable to buyers and adds to house value, and is believed to be another factor in the rise.

Stirling has seen the biggest rise in dropped kerb approvals in Scotland with a 13-fold increase from 19 in 2013 to 254 in 2015, according freedom of information research carried out by Direct Line.

In Renfrewshire there was a near threefold increase to 52 in 2015, while in Fife dropped kerb permissions rose from 57 to 128 over the three years.

Meanwhile councils across Scotland are raking in millions not just from the costs of the applications but through carrying out the work on residents’ behalf.

In some parts of Scotland, councils will grant approval for a dropped kerb on the proviso that their own staff carry out the work, while others will have an approved list of contractors they will allow to do it.

In 2015 alone, nearly a quarter of a million was raised by Scots councils from dropped kerbs, up 25 per cent from 2013.

Reaping the greatest rewards is Aberdeen City Council has taken in nearly £300,000 over the three years from driveway projects.  

A Scottish Government spokesman said:  “It remains our intention to address issues relating to parking as part of a Bill in this parliamentary session.  We are giving consideration to the scope of the proposals and we will provide an update very shortly.”