Controversial parking charges set to arrive in East Dunbartonshire by 2014

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TRAFFIC wardens employed by East Dunbartonshire Council could be issuing fines by summer 2013 if the Scottish Government gives the green light to a new parking scheme.

Councillors last week agreed to formally apply to Holyrood to introduce Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) across the area - funding the scheme by introducing controversial parking charges.

Councillor Alan Moir, convener of the council’s development and infrastructure committee, said: “The introduction of DPE in East Dunbartonshire is about making our schools, shops, railway stations and other facilities safer and easier to access.

“With the withdrawal of police traffic wardens last year, there is a need for some kind of enforcement and I believe this is the way forward.”

The submitted business case fills a £189,000 funding black hole by charging drivers to park in 23 council-owned car parks.

The first two hours of parking would remain free, but drivers would be charged £1 for a third hour, £2 for up to four hours and £5 for four or more hours.

Councillor Moir added: “At the moment we see valuable town centre spaces taken up by people parking all day, meaning that shoppers who want to spend with local retailers and use local facilities are put off.

“The sliding scale of charges is designed to encourage local people to shop locally and bring visitors in while deterring all-day parkers.

“If we should be in a position where we have surplus revenue once annual costs are met, this money will, in line with legislation, be ploughed straight into traffic and transport projects to benefit local people.”

The car parks affected in Kirkintilloch are Barleybank, High Street, the Auld Kirk Museum, Rochdale Place, Shamrock Street, Union Street and William Patrick Library.

In Bishopbriggs charging would be introduced at the Kenmure and Memorial Hall car parks.

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