Motorists facing town centre parking charges

There are fears that changes will hurt struggling city-centre shosps
There are fears that changes will hurt struggling city-centre shosps

PARKING charges are set to be slapped on drivers in Milngavie and Bearsden.

Over the next couple of months, East Dunbartonshire Council will be asking people for their views on how to improve car park provision in and around the area’s town centres.

Until recently, Strathclyde Police traffic wardens monitored the streets but this is no longer the case.

The council is therefore seeking to introduce Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) where its own traffic attendants would issue fixed penalty notices to offending drivers.

This, it is claimed, will allow the council to manage and address a range of parking problems and concerns.

These include supporting local businesses and shoppers in our town centres by promoting turnover of vehicles and less frustration from those wishing to use the town centre facilities, enforcing disabled parking spaces and increasing safety around schools by cracking down on inconsiderate parkers.

Any DPE proposal by the council would need to be approved by the Scottish Parliament and the council must demonstrate that the scheme is self-funding and sustainable.

As well as raising income through fixed penalty notices, the authority has agreed in principle to the introduction of parking charges in order to make DPE financially viable.

Councillor Billy Hendry, convener of the council’s development and infrastructure committee, said: “While agreement has been reached in principle, I want to emphasise to people that no decisions have been taken on any charging regimes.

“The consultation will explain DPE to people and outline the processes involved for the council. It will also explain the different challenges across our area that arise from parking, the range of options available to help address these and give details of the decisions which need to be taken.

“Anyone who visits our town centres will know that parking is a problem, with the less considerate drivers amongst us parking on pavements, on yellow lines or anywhere they think they can leave their car without consequences.

“For everyone’s safety and convenience, we need to be in a position to be able to address these issues which are magnified outside schools and railway stations.

“We want to hear people’s views and get a feel for what they think should be done to improve their town centre experience.”

Drop-in sessions, where people can speak to council officers, pick up a leaflet and complete a questionnaire will be held over coming weeks. They will be held at Bearsden Burgh Hall on Monday, February 27 and Milngavie Town Hall on Wednesday, February 29. They are scheduled to take place between 10am and 4pm, though this has still to be confirmed.

A leaflet will be produced and widely distributed around the time of the consultation. As well as being available at the sessions, there will be copies in council and other public buildings. It will also be available on the council’s website www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk

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