April 2011: Parking charges, would you pay to park?

Thank you to everyone who took part in my most recent e-consultation: Parking charges, would you pay to park?

This question has yielded the highest response rate to date, so this is clearly a hot topic! With more than 450 replies the results were:

  • A 29.1% voted Yes – EDC should implement car parking charges of between £0.50 and £1 per hour and re-invest the money generated back into our roads.
  • B 20.3% voted Yes – EDC should implement car parking charges but at a lower level to cover traffic warden costs only.
  • C 50.6% voted No – EDC should not implement car parking charges.

So residents seem split almost 50:50 on whether to introduce parking charges, and the interesting comments given show the factors people considered in their decision.

Common arguments in favour of option A:

  • Charging a nominal fee for shoppers and a set day rate for commuters would encourage shoppers to park instead of spaces being used all day by commuters.
  • With Audit Scotland’s recent report highlighting the condition of East Dunbartonshire’s roads to be some of the worst in Scotland, and the impending budget cuts, many people highlighted the real need for re-investment in the roads.

Common arguments in favour of option B:

  • Traffic wardens will help to control inconsiderate and socially-irresponsible parking, something that is an increasing problem.
  • Shoppers are finding it difficult to park in the car parks provided to service local shops as these are increasingly filled with commuters and those wishing to stay long-term. The introduction of minimal charging/ short stay parking would benefit those wishing to use the local amenities, and help local traders.

The general feeling from those who responded in favour of options A and B highlighted the need for continued policing for parking in residential areas and those surrounding schools. With the withdrawal of police enforcement in these areas child and pedestrian safety remain a concern.

The consultation has also highlighted the need for additional car parks surrounding the train stations as a number of commuters live in areas that are not served by buses, making it difficult to get to the station by other means.

Common arguments in favour of option C:

  • There is a huge concern that introducing car parking charges in town centres would discourage people from shopping locally and instead travel to out of town shopping centres with free parking.
  • Others feel that parking charges would do little to solve the problem of limited provision for parking.

Many thanks to everyone who voted, and particularly to those who replied with comments.

East Dunbartonshire Council plan to consult with local residents before bringing in any changes, however they are currently unsure what the timing will be of this consultation. I will let you know when this happens so you can participate, and I will also send the results of this survey, including comments, to the Council to feed in to their consultation exercise.

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