It has been a bugbear for motorists in Dundee for years — the way that quick trips to the shops can cost nearly £5 in parking fees.
However, new proposals from the council could see more flexible arrangements come to the city’s car parks, letting drivers pay less for shorter stays.
The local authority has launched a consultation on plans that would see motorists able to pay for a two-hour stay at West Bell Street multi-storey, rather than the minimum four hours currently.
The Hunter Street North, Hunter Street South and East Whale Lane long-stay car parks could also have their minimum payment costs cut.
Until now, drivers have had to pay £4.10 at Hunter Street and East Whale Lane — and £4.60 at West Bell Street — for parking up to four hours, even if they intend to use the facility for only a short period of time. If the proposed changes are approved, it will mean drivers will pay as little as £2 for up to two hours.
Meanwhile, adjustments could also be made at facilities with existing flexible arrangements. Tariffs at the Greenmarket multi-storey could drop by between 10p and 20p to complement the changes.
Peter Menzies, chairman of the West End Community Council, previously campaigned for the council to make car parking arrangements in the city more flexible.
He said that “park-and-striders” often parked in the West End and other areas on the outskirts of the city in order to avoid paying for parking.
“At long last, Dundee City Council has realised that the residents and businesses on the periphery need relief,” he said.
“The issue with park-and-striders in the West End means retailers are dying, as people can’t park to get to them, and the car parks in the city are not being used.
“Encouraging people to use these car parks will help residents and businesses across the city — and show that Dundee city centre is open for business.
“However, it’s ridiculous that it has taken this long for the council to look into this.”
A previous Tele investigation found that hundreds of spaces lay empty in Dundee’s main car parks each day.
Drivers using West Bell Street car park welcomed the proposals.
Michael Rhodes, 35, commutes to Dundee from Kirriemuir to work as a chef. He said: “There is not enough decent parking in the city.
“They need to drop the prices because they are too high in some places. I can park at other places where it is cheaper but then it is a longer walk.”
Julie Bushell, 49, said: “If it gets cheaper then it will make things a lot better. They should roll it out to more people rather than just people popping into town to help out those who park there every day.”
Estimates from the council suggest that it will cost about £3,500 to update signage at each of the car parks with the new tariffs.
The proposals are open for public comment and a final decision on the changes will be made at a later date.
Councillor Mark Flynn, depute city development convener, said: “The city council has listened to the views of people and we have responded with this solution.
“This is about promoting more flexibility for motorists to include variable stays at all of our off-street car parks.”