Public consultation over parking in the West End in Dundee should not be “kicked into the long grass”, a councillor has said.
Parking has been a contentious topic in the West End for some time, with Councillor Fraser Macpherson previously hitting out at Dundee City Council for introducing fees at car parks before a wider permit scheme is introduced.
Charges in the West End’s seven car parks were suspended earlier this year in response to coronavirus, but have since been reintroduced. Mr Macpherson has also called for them to be suspended again.
A consultation for residents to voice their views was launched earlier this year but was put on hold because of the pandemic. Two consultation meetings had taken place at Blackness Library.
Council officials have now said they may not restart until later next year. Mr Macpherson has called on the local authority to remain open to recommencing earlier.
In correspondence with the councillor, the head of sustainable transport and roads said: “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.
“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.”
Mr Macpherson said the timing is “disappointing” but “not really very surprising” at a time when traffic is reduced with more people working from home.
He added: “It must not be kicked into the long grass. 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.
“Meanwhile, 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.
“It is completely unacceptable that the council is flouting the government guidance by re-imposing parking charges in residential areas when residents are having to work from home.”
A council spokesman said: “Dundee City Council’s head of sustainable transport and roads has laid out the council’s position in his response to Bailie Macpherson.”