Residents will recall that the consultation on residents' parking was abruptly suspended in March shortly after the two consultation meetings, due to the COVID-19 health emergency.
I have been in touch with the City Council about its position regarding getting the consultation concluded and a residents’ parking scheme introduced.
The Head of Sustainable Transport and Roads has now updated me as follows :
“As you note, there are options to either progress the outstanding consultation online or postpone until physically distancing requirements are relaxed. Engagement with non-digital persons is a concern with the former of these two options.
Associated with this consideration is the skewing of respondents' comments if progressed during the current restrictions on the basis of views being influenced by current experiences or circumstances faced which may not be apparent post Covid-19.
For the benefit of engagement, and the timing being during an environment reflective of the future state, I propose to postpone the consultation exercise until after the pandemic which will hopefully be in the first half of 2021.”
This is a disappointing timescale but not really very surprising as driving and parking currently is far from normal and services are extremely challenging due to the health emergency.
However, I will continue to press for progress as soon as parking behaviour returns to more normal times as hopefully the COVID-19 health emergency passes.
Meantime, I have continually said that parking charges in the seven West End car parks with charges should have remained suspended given the Scottish Government guidance to work from home where possible and I reiterated this to the Head of Sustainable Transport and Roads during the past week.