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Parking Scotland Expo Grand designs This years Parking Scotland Expo was bigger than ever, with 150 registered attendees and 20 exhibitors coming to Glasgows Grand Central Hotel for a day of information sharing, ideas and innovation. Louise Parfitt reports f I had to sum up Parking Scotland Expo in one word, it would be challenging both the event itself, and the act of trying to capture such an enlightening conference in just one word. We were asked to step off the hamster wheel and consider the bigger picture. Detailed topics were addressed, such as the Workplace Parking Levy; thought-provoking questions were put to the speakers, including whether hospital parking should remain free; and the audience were treated to illuminating facts, such as which Scottish postcodes harbour the most untaxed vehicles. Most of all, it was a challenge to everyone to think about how we can do better. This could be by helping to shape legislation, or taking a look at working practices and ways to improve, or ensuring we are up to speed with the recent changes to Blue Badge eligibility. BPA President John McArdle issued a warm welcome to everyone, and also introduced Lorna Hogg, the new chair of Parking Scotland, who had been elected only days earlier. There are many changes taking place in parking now: micro mobility, policy alignment, and also the Parking (Code of Practice) Act and the Transport (Scotland) Bill both of which will make a real difference towards getting a fairer deal for motorists, he said. Gold sponsor NSL added its welcome to the event. Heather Grieve, NSL local government account director and joint vice-chair of the Parking Scotland Group, said how pleased the firm was to sponsor the event, as it works closely with Edinburgh City Council. She shared news of NSLs new collaboration framework agreement that allows other local authorities to tap into aspects of the same contract NSL has with Edinburgh, knowing due diligence has already been done. I Dealing with untaxed vehicles How the parking sector engages and works with others is a current hot topic, given the crossover between our profession and many others. Elaine Rees, UK wheelclamping and ANPR enforcement senior leader at the DVLA, explained how the Secretary of State can give devolved enforcement powers, via the DVLA, to local authorities to help remove untaxed vehicles from our communities. Rees explained that this work not only helps to make communities safer by ridding the roads of some nuisance vehicles, but it can also disrupt criminality because, often, untaxed vehicles are used for other unlawful behaviour. She also explained the financial incentives for councils with regard to the fees they can Support for Marie Curie Delegates enjoyed time to catch up and discuss some of the topics raised at the NSLs post-event Scotland Blooming Drinks Party in aid of Marie Curie. There was also a raffle held in aid of the charity. Thanks to your generosity, 220 was raised during the event. collect, and how local authorities can work with enforcement partners or other councils to make the scheme cost-effective and maximise efficiencies. From Blue Badges to online appeals Graham Footer, chief executive at Disabled Motoring UK, gave an overview of the recent expanded Blue Badge eligibility criteria. He shared DMUKs concerns that if the criteria is not applied in a considered way by local authorities, there could be significant damage to the scheme. There is a concern that the number of Blue Badges issued will far exceed the 24 britishparking.co.uk PN Oct19 pp24-27 Scotland Expo.indd 24 23/09/2019 13:58