Car park charges finally arrive

Douglas Street, car park, Milngavie.

Douglas Street, car park, Milngavie.

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Motorists in Milngavie and Bearsden will start being charged to use certain car parks from July 4 - if they stay for more than two hours.

Five council car parks will be affected, with 21 remaining free across East Dunbartonshire to park all day, every day.

However some traders in Milngavie have slammed the plan because they will not get a parking permit.

This means that after two hours business owners will be forced to pay for their space.

Louise Marr, who runs the Lingerie Boutique in Stewart Street, Milngavie, said: “We are open six days a week so that means it will cost me £30 per week to park my car which is a lot of money each year.

“It’s ridiculous - the council should have made provision for traders.

“I’m also worried that people will spend less time in the village now to avoid paying for parking.”

The charges are being introduced to help pay for Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) locally, and the council hopes that they will also help to support town centre businesses by encouraging turnover and freeing up spaces for shoppers.

The Scottish Government requires that the DPE scheme be self-financing.

Enforcement fines are not enough to cover costs and - as a result - the council will need to charge for some council-owned parking spaces in town centres.

However, parking will remain free for the first two hours in every council parking space across East Dunbartonshire - with parking set to be free in the evenings and at weekends.

Residents living in domestic properties with no allocated parking within town centres - who are considered to be detrimentally affected by the introduction of charging - will be eligible to apply for a parking permit.

This will be limited at the moment to one per property and there will be a charge to cover administrative costs.

Charges will be brought in for the following car parks:

· Milngavie - Douglas Street, Mugdock Road, Stewart Street (North) and Woodburn Way.

· Bearsden - Roman Road.

The first two hours are free, with a sliding scale thereafter, up to a maximum of £5:

Two-to-four hours costs £1, three-to-four hours £2, and it’s £5 for over four hours.