To charge or not to charge? That is the parking poser...

KIRKCALDY;'Cars parked everywhere because of lack of parking at Victoria Hospital and local residents are not happy. 'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY;'Cars parked everywhere because of lack of parking at Victoria Hospital and local residents are not happy. 'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

CONTROVERSIAL plans to charge for parking in council-owned spaces are still in the melting pot.

A series of events have been held to gauge public opinion.

Last year East Dunbartonshire Council announced plans to introduce Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE).

The scheme will see the council employ its own army of traffic wardens, but a funding black hole means cash will have to be raised through parking charges.

The question council chiefs have been asking is how much the charges should be and where they should be levied.

Last Friday saw the last of five consultation events held across the district, but some residents have questioned the effectiveness of the meetings.

One Bishopbriggs resident, who commutes to Glasgow to work, said: “I raised a number of concerns, but the council officer didn’t write anything down – he just said I should e-mail him. I was flabbergasted.

“They seem to be keen to get people to use their cars to go to work in Glasgow – one of the officers even admitted that to me – but I thought that was the opposite of what they were meant to be doing.

“Shouldn’t they be trying to make it easier to use public transport like the train from Bishopbriggs? Their proposals are certainly going to make it harder.”

Others were worried about perceived poor turn-out for the events.

Thomas Glen, head of development and enterprise at East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “The council has had excellent engagement and feedback through the consultation workshops.

“There has been wide support for the council’s intention to bring in decriminalised parking enforcement, to have its own parking wardens to replace those withdrawn by the police, as well as to be able to enforce existing parking restrictions.

“In relation to draft proposals for the introduction of new parking restrictions and the preferences expressed about whether parking charging should be considered, a wide variety of views have been brought forward by different stakeholders.

“The questionnaire is designed to capture all views on these issues and officers will analyse responses to ensure final proposals presented to the council represent an appropriate balance to suit all groups – residents, shoppers, commuters, traders, businesses, schools, etc.

“What is clear is that each location in East Dunbartonshire has a unique set of issues and solutions for each area will have to reflect these differences.”

Residents still have until March 30 to get involved in the consultation by filling in a questionnaire available from council offices, libraries or on the council’s website – www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk

* Have you got a picture to send in? E-mail kirkyherald@jnscotland.co.uk

Or alternatively you can call the newsdesk 0141 775 0040.