Work to prepare for a ban on pavement parking in South Ayrshire has been given the go-ahead despite councillors’ concerns about the plan.

Legislation has been brought in to make it easier for Scottish local authorities to ensure pavements and roads are safer and more accessible.

There are number of exemptions to the new rules, including emergency services and medical personnel responding to emergencies, accidents or in the normal course of their duties.

Officials will now undertake a major piece of work to assess parking throughout the county.

This assessment will determine whether certain roads could be exempt from the ban.

A date of October 28 was earmarked in a South Ayrshire Council report for the implementation of the ban - though this will be preceded by a 'soft launch', with warning notices issued rather than penalties, lasting for four weeks.

But Councillor Bob Pollock (Conservative, Troon) told a meeting of the local authority's cabinet he was concerned about the practical difficulties of resourcing and staffing the move.

He said: “I don’t think anyone will argue against the need to improve road safety.

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“However, this is another example of a good idea badly executed.

“It is the volume of work that is required to bring this in, along with the resourcing implications, cost implications of street furniture and the requirement for road markings, with no funding to support it.

“That is a concern.”

He also warned that the public would expect the council to enforce the legislation.

“We do have a limited number of traffic wardens available to us just now," he continued.

"The Scottish Government’s thinking appears to be that more enforcement means more income and enable the council able to hire more wardens.

“I am not convinced that is going to be the case.”

Cllr Pollock also argued that there would be a knock-on effect, giving the example of one street being made exempt from the ban when a neighbouring street is not.

“I do support the ban on parking on pavements where it is appropriate, but I think we are just about to enter a whole world of pain through the introduction of this.”

Councillor Lee Lyons (Conservative, Ayr West), the authority's deputy leader, raised the issue of exemptions for certain vehicles, including the mail and emergency services.

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He said: “I thought common sense was the case, but if they need an actual exemption, what happens when a car parks on a pavement with mechanical failures or blowouts?”

Kevin Braidwood, the head of the Ayrshire Roads Alliance, said that officials would take a "sympathetic approach" in such instances.

Councillor Alec Clark (Independent, Girvan and South Carrick) backed the proposal, but admitted that it was akin to "a sledgehammer to crack a chestnut".

He said: “I think there are parts that will be welcomed by the general public. I hope there is flexibility for drivers who may not be obstructing to the worst measure.”

Independent councillor Bob Shields (Ayr West) said that his own street has households with multiple cars and that the number had resulted in pavement parking.

“On my street alone, after 6pm to probably 8am, no fire engine would ever get past the cars parked on that street," he warned.

He added that, while he wasn’t confident that the ban would deal with the issue, he did hope that it would create more awareness that would "lead to better things".