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Happy hour in Angus as councillors agree to double on-street parking time limit

Forfar town centre
Forfar town centre

Free on-street Angus parking is to double to an hour.

Councillors agreed the move on Thursday on the back of a public consultation which showed overwhelming support for an extension of the current 30 minute limit.

Charges in the area’s 33 off-street car parks are to stay suspended until May 2022 to help businesses in their pandemic recovery.

Montrose High Street

On-street limits were part of a parking review and a member/officer group had suggested the free period should rise to either 45 or 60 minutes.

Split

Councillors were split over the extra time they believed should be allowed.

It will cost £20,000 to put traffic orders and signs in place for the change.

Council leader David Fairweather moved the hour saying it would be a boost for high streets which had been “slaughtered” by the impact of the pandemic.

Montrose Independent Mark Salmond also backed it, saying the authority would “send out the wrong message” if the overwhelming view of the 3,000-response public survey was ignored.

Forfar councillor Colin Brown was among those in favour of 45 minutes.

“If we go to an hour that is just seven cars a day sitting outside a shop,” he said.

“If they need an hour, especially in a town like Forfar, there are four off-street car parks close to the town centre.

“I agree with an increase, but it should be to 45 minutes,” said Mr Brown.

Different time limits for different burghs were also ruled out as an option.

Status quo

A lone voice in favour of keeping the current half-hour limit was Carnoustie Independent David Cheape.

He said: “The whole purpose of on-street parking is effectively to have a quick changeover and let in people who have less ability to get in close to the shops.

“We’ve made our off-street parking free for the foreseeable future.

“That will do more good for the shops than allowing people to parking long-term in on-street parking bays, which in Carnoustie are few and far between.

“The off-street car parks are equally as close. On top of that, it is £20,000 to do this – do we really want to spend that?

“Off-street parking is free, on-street parking is free – it is pretty damn good for the people of Angus so why do we want to go and change that?”

Councillors voted 17-8 in favour of the free hour.

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