Town centre car parking charges finally came into force in East Dunbartonshire this week – over a year after the planned start date.
Monday (July 4) saw charges introduced in seven council-owned car parks for vehicles left longer than two hours.
The charges are being used to fill a ‘funding black hole’ in the council’s Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) scheme – which saw community wardens appointed to issue parking tickets in April 2014.
They were originally to be introducted in April 2015, before being delayed to summer 2015, then April 2015.
A total of 21 car parks remain free to park all day, every day, and there will be no charges in any car parks in the evenings or at weekends.
In Milngavie it will affect the following car parks: Douglas Street, Mugdock Road, Stewart Street (North) and Woodburn Way from 9am-5.30pm Monday-Friday and the Roman Road car park in Bearsden. It will cost £1 for two-three hours, £2 for three-four hours and £5 for over four hours. It’s hoped that as well raising funds it will help businesses by freeing up spaces for town centre shoppers.
Free car parks include: Milngavie – Mugdock Road (east), Riverside, Stewart Street (South), Ellangowan, Kersland, Milngavie Station, Milngavie Town Hall and Milngavie Library. Bearsden - Brookwood, The Glebe, Bearsden Burgh Hall and Bearsden Station.
Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and regeneration, said: “This isn’t about generating revenue – it is about paying for parking enforcement across East Dunbartonshire and creating turnover of spaces in our town centres.
“Parking will remain free for the first two hours in every council parking space across East Dunbartonshire - as well as in the evenings and at weekends.
“This decision hasn’t been taken lightly. When the council took on responsibility for enforcing parking restrictions from the Police, the Scottish Government required that the scheme should be self-financing.
“The business case was clear that fines would not be enough to cover costs and – as a result – charging for some council parking spaces would be needed in town centres.”
Gilbert McVean, The Iron Chef in Milngavie, said: “I’m delighted with the way this is working – Milngavie is open for business again!”