The public are being given the opportunity to have their say on car Angus car parking charges.
Meters in the district’s off-street car parks remain covered up in a charging moratorium set to stretch to March 31 next year.
The coronavirus situation has given Angus Council the chance to re-visit the controversial charging scheme.
It was met with angry resistance when meters returned to off-street car parks two years’ ago after a 20-year absence.
A full review was agreed by councillors earlier this year and residents are now being asked for their opinion.
Community groups and businesses have fed in to survey
A virtual meeting has already been held with community group and business figures to gauge priorities and preferences.
The online public survey goes live on Tuesday and will run for two weeks.
Communities convener, Councillor Mark Salmond said early feedback has allowed possible options to be drawn up.
The charging moratorium has given us this window of opportunity to look afresh at parking across Angus and we’re asking to people to support our efforts in doing this.
Angus communities convener Mark Salmond
But he has sounded a note of caution to those who may wish to see charging disappear completely.
“The work of the review so far, supported by the valuable contribution made by those who joined us at the focus group, has made it possible for us to present a number of possible options,” he said.
“All parking charges have been suspended since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and we have extended that moratorium until March 31 2021.
“That has given us this window of opportunity to look afresh at parking across Angus.
“We’re asking to people to support our efforts in doing this.”
“Your opinions matter and will be fully considered before any recommendations are put before full council,” he said.
Any planned changes will form part of the 2021 budget-setting process.
Free parking factored into range of survey options
“We do recognise that people may opt for cheaper car parking and permits, or even prefer all parking in Angus was free.
“These choices have been factored into the survey,” said Mr Salmond.
“But I would ask that people consider what the wider consequences of any preferences they indicate would be.
“Free parking everywhere might sound perfect, but such a move could reduce the availability and turnover of spaces in and around our high streets.
“It could also mean there is not enough money for the council to meet its operating costs for parking without impacting on other frontline services.
Free parking everywhere might sound perfect, but such a move could reduce the availability and turnover of spaces in and around our high streets.
Councillor Mark Salmond
“It could also work against efforts to encourage healthier travel options and reduce carbon emissions.”
He added: “Please take time to carry out the survey and provide any additional thoughts or views you have.
“We want to get this right to ensure that we can support our communities in the best way possible.”