Fury as council hikes up parking charges

18-11-2014'Douglas Street, Car Park, Milngavie. Picture Paul McSherry.
18-11-2014'Douglas Street, Car Park, Milngavie. Picture Paul McSherry.

A decision to increase fees in council-run car parks in East Dunbartonshire have sparked an angry reaction from 
residents and local business.

The Tory/LibDem council administration is set to scrap free parking for the first two hours and on a Saturday..

From June 18 this year, 
motorists will be charged £1 for up to two hours, £2 for two to three hours, £3 for three to four hours and £5 for more than four hours.

The charges will apply 
Mon-Sat from 9am-5.30pm.

People responded with fury on the council’s Facebook site, accusing the local authority of “greedy opportusim” and of driving away business from the town centre.

Kate McHugh posted: “Short-sighted and poor 
decision making. How much will it cost to change all the signs and machines even?

“Budgets are tight everywhere but this appears as nothing more than greedy opportunism.

“At very least, a shorter free period should be allowed which, as others have said, will help turnover whilst still helping support local businesses.

“Paying £1 when you have a quick stop to make encourages no-one and will drive 
business away from town 
centres”.

While Des Hughes posted: “So more boarded up shops and charity shops on the way then?”

Blue badge holders will 
remain exempt from charges.

Fees were introduced at five local EDC car parks in July 2016 – Roman Road (Bearsden); Douglas Street, Mugdock Road, Stewart Street and Woodburn (Milngavie).

According to a council spokesperson, the average daily turnover of spaces 
in charge-levying car parks has increased as a result, “providing more parking for potential customers and 
visitors”.

He added: “Drivers will no longer have to enter their 
vehicle registration details when obtaining a ticket, 
addressing feedback from people who have experienced issues.”

Any additional funds raised will be used for roads and transportation, he said.

The council recently approved a Revenue Budget for 2018/19 which included required savings of £13.6 million (a shortfall of £15.8m prior to the Council Tax rise).

The council’s joint leaders, Councillor Vaughan Moody (LibDem) and Andrew Polson (Tory) said 
the revised charges will help to support the trend of “significant improvements in turnover of spaces” and officers 
will monitor the new 
system.

In November last year, the council approved the principle of charging at Bearsden Community Hub car park and Kenmure Drive car park inBishopbriggs.

However, a council spokesperson said the proposal 
still had to go through a legal process.