An opposition councillor has blasted the “out-of-touch” SNP administration after it voted to press ahead with widely-opposed parking charges.
Ruling councillors, together with Lord Provost Ian Borthwick and independent councillor Gregor Murray, voted 15-12 on plans to introduce charges at seven off-street car parks in the West End.
This was despite several local residents pleading with the opposition not to impose charges without a residents’ parking permit scheme. A total of 59 objections were also submitted beforehand.
Council officers had said the scheme was needed to encourage “turnover of spaces” but it emerged the expected £55,000 a year in fees was needed to balance the books.
Council staff also said they were working from years-old traffic data which could be out of date.
Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat reps banded together to see off the plans, albeit to no avail.
West End Lib Dem councillor Fraser Macpherson has now challenged the administration to commit to a long-awaited residents’ parking scheme, seen by locals as the missing piece of the puzzle to solve parking issues in the area.
“The administration didn’t even try to make an argument for it. It makes a mockery of the consultation process,” he said.
“The bottom line on this is that introducing parking charges before you put a residents’ parking scheme in place makes things so much worse for the residents.
“Look at Angus. The car parks will empty and people will park on the streets and make things harder – exactly what we shouldn’t be doing.
“This is not a good example of the council in listening mode at all.
“The SNP administration is out of touch and one can only hope we will see some real progress on a residents’ parking scheme.”
After hearing three deputations on Monday evening – including from Labour member Richard McCready – city development convener Alan Ross moved to support the scheme.
When asked by Mr Macpherson if he was putting “the cart before the horse” by imposing charges before residents’ permits, Mr Ross said: “That will be a matter for members to use their judgment on. I can see arguments on both sides.”