Friday, 5 February 2016

Complacent attitude over West End parking slammed

As reported in today’s Courier, I have slammed the council’s SNP administration for its wholly inadequate and complacent attitude towards tackling parking problems in the West End.

I recently called for a further consultation with residents over the area’s parking problems and am hugely unimpressed with the council’s ‘do nothing’ response to this.

As residents know, plans were previously put forward back in 2012 for residents to consider a residents’ parking scheme which would have given local residents priority for parking in the area of the West End south of Blackness Road and east of Windsor Street.    However, with permits being proposed at £80 a year, residents rejected the proposal as the planned West End scheme was 16 times more expensive than the parking scheme in Menzieshill, a price differential I consider unacceptable and discriminatory.

Since the failed consultation now some years ago, it is obvious from the level of complaints from residents that the parking situation is getting worse not better and that local people find it increasingly difficult to get parked near their homes.  

I therefore feel strongly that the council simply cannot walk away from the problem but must consider some further consultation on revised proposals – for example on a mix of different solutions each covering smaller areas, rather than the ‘wide area’ proposal suggested back in 2012.   Crucially, the council cannot expect to get public support for a parking scheme 16 times more expensive for residents than another council one in the city.   Schemes must be fair and consistent in charging policy.

I raised the matter again with the City Council and the Director of City Development has responded as follows :

“I have consulted with my convener on this issue and our position is that this issue was fully tested through a formal public consultation on a Residents Parking Scheme for the area, but this was firmly rejected by local residents.    Our resources have therefore moved onto to other priority areas.

“We will of course always try to assist with minor localised adjustments to waiting restrictions through our annual report to committee, but I am unable to revisit the issue of residents parking provision in the West End at this time.”

The SNP administration may well have “moved on” but it has done so having failed to tackle the major parking problems in this part of the West End and I view this complacency as hugely concerning.   

However, if the administration intends to sit on its hands and do nothing to help West End residents, they’ll find I take a different view and I will therefore be bringing the issue to the council’s City Development Committee so the parking problems can be properly debated and discussed and a further consultation given proper consideration.  

It is simply not good enough for the administration to have a ‘do nothing’ approach so I have formally requested a debate on the parking issue is brought before committee as soon as possible.

The administration wants to sweep this issue under the carpet but I am unprepared to let that happen.