FIFE COUNCIL is getting the "smelly end of the stick" when it comes to the new ban on pavement parking.

Councillor Altany Craik said the legislation was not clear, local authorities don't have to enforce it and there's no extra funding for what would be a "significant" increase in workload.

He said: "My concern is we're being asked to deliver something that's almost undeliverable.

"You're going to have the unrealistic expectation of, 'There's a car parked on the pavement in my street, can you come and get it out of here?' and that's going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back."

The Scottish Government said the ban won't be enforceable until 2023, when parking on pavements, double-parking and parking across dropped kerbs will be illegal.

There will be exemptions for footways wide enough to leave a one-and-a-half-metre gap for pedestrians and for parking to make way for emergency vehicles.

Cllr Craik said it was important the streets were safe for everyone but that the solution, in terms of the legislation, "won't be universal" with the possibility of different interpretations of the rules in different parts of the Kingdom.

"That's going to create another set of jeopardy for us as a council. It's not an easy place for us to be as a local authority as yet again we'll be carrying the smelly end of the stick with our residents when it's being enforced from somewhere else."

Offenders face a fixed penalty notice although councillors were told there were many issues to be resolved before then.

Cllr Craik, the convener of the economy, tourism, strategic planning and transportation sub-committee, continued: "It needs a practical approach and I'm glad we'll have a bit of flexibility to do so but this is going to be universally unpopular.

"There will be thwarted demand by people who want it better on the pavements and there will be unhappy people who are trying to find a parking place to put their car because the rules have changed around them."

Cllr Jan Wincott said: "This seems like the kind of legislation that, if not properly thought through, could end up just annoying pedestrians and motorists without solving the problem we have."

Transport Scotland have provided £106,000 to cover the assessment part of the process but no other funding has been announced.

Phil Clarke, lead consultant in traffic management, said: "Local authorities across Scotland are raising concerns as this is a large chunk of additional work and there's no indication, currently, that extra money is going to be made available.

"We share your concern about where the resources are coming from because we're certainly not short of work just now and this is going to be a significant extra piece of work."

He continued: "There's no duty to enforce this in the Act so it's up to us as roads authority to make the decision as to when and how, and if, we enforce it.

"The knock-on effect is the other big issue. Where parking is displaced, where is that parking going to go?"

Police have the power to deal with vehicles that are obstructing or driving on pavements but councillors were told the force has never, throughout Scotland, issued a fine to anyone for obstructing a footway.

Mr Clarke said: "They more or less suggested they couldn't do it.

"That's why this legislation has been brought forward and it falls to us as a local authority to include it in our parking enforcement."

Cllr Jane Ann Liston said: "I was very pleased to see this coming in but it's disappointing if it's not going to be properly supported and local authorities can implement it if they like."

Cllr John Beare said: "The legislation is to increase mobility for pedestrians, particularly those who are disabled, wheelchair-users or using prams and buggies, who for reasons of inconsiderate parking, are being forced onto the carriageway and in danger.

"So is there a balance? Absolutely. I'm aware that, for example, in areas of Dunfermline and Rosyth, there are pavements three-to-four metres wide where parking's much more suitable than in some other areas where footways are narrower.

"There's no duty for us to enforce and area committees will control it locally and allow for exemptions if and when the times comes."

He added: "The challenge is a lot of our streets are not designed to what we would call modern standards. In my ward, there are areas with 11 houses, nowadays there would be 22 parking spaces and there are four.

"It's just the way urban areas were designed."