Proposals to place coin-operated meters in nearly half of all off-street car parks in Angus will be considered by Full Council at their meeting on Thursday (20 June).
Recommendations to enhance the service by installing 14 solar-powered coin-operated meters are in response to public demand highlighted through responses to a recent short survey.
In all, almost 75% of those who responded favoured the introduction of coin-operated meters, with two-thirds of those who took part in the “conversation” saying they would use the car parks more frequently if they could use coins.
Communities Convener, Cllr Mark Salmond said: “The Council moved too far and too fast in the drive to be digital in our off-street parking. That came through loud and clear from the conversation with our communities, which was asked for by the Member Officer Working Group set up to look into adding cash payments.
“I do regret that some people have found difficulties with the cashless-only option, but that is something that we are trying to put right. We want to make the process of paying to park in Angus as simple as we can for everyone.
“The Member Officer Working Group was established to look at ways in which we could refine the system. I believe we will achieve this through these recommendations and with measures we have already announced, including the monthly permit; the extension from two to four hours in our short stay car parks; and by removing the need to key in vehicle registrations.
“There is a cost involved in these solutions, but these are refinements that have been identified and called for by the public and by elected members from all sides of this Council. We have heard what was being said and I hope all will welcome our desire to find an equitable solution.
“Due to the financial circumstances that we find ourselves in, scrapping off-street parking charges was never an option. In common with other local authorities, we must find income where we can and cannot afford to be one of the few councils not to charge for parking. But we are also committed to ensuring that paying to park in Angus works for Angus and its people, which is why we will continue to monitor and review the scheme.”
Recommendations are for coin-operated machines to be installed at four off-street car parks in Arbroath and two in each of Brechin, Carnoustie, Forfar, Kirriemuir and Montrose. Plans have been developed, giving consideration to cost, location, whether the car park is short or long stay, how frequently it is used, its proximity to the high street, and impact on tourism.
The preferred option would see coin-operated machines and signage installed at a cost of £43,266 at 14 of the council’s 33 off-street car parks:
Arbroath - Ladybridge St; Millgate – North Grimsby; West Abbey Street; Shore.
Brechin – Church Street; Maisondieu Lane West.
Carnoustie – High Street, Links Avenue.
Forfar – Myre; East Greens.
Kirriemuir – Bellies Brae; Reform Street.
Montrose – Baltic Street; Murray Lane.