Motorists in Dundee have been reminded that parking charges in seven West End car parks will return.
The reintroduction of charges at Roseangle, Pennycook Lane, Miller’s Wynd, Ryehill Lane, Mid Wynd, Union Street North and Bellfield Street North car parks will happen on September 27.
The charges were suspended until the Dundee University‘s first semester to support local residents who continued to work from home during the pandemic.
Signs and notices on parking meters originally informing drivers that charges were suspended will be removed.
The introduction of parking charges in the West End has caused controversy in the past, with calls for the charges to be scrapped due to residents having to work from home.
As there is currently no permit parking scheme in place for residents, there were previously concerns that residents still working from home would have to pay to park outside their homes or receive fines.
West End councillor Richard McCready said he is disappointed charges will be re-introduced before a consultation over residents permits is complete.
“Three and a half years ago the council agreed to consult on a residents’ car parking scheme for the West End and other areas around the city centre,” he said.
“I accept there has been a pandemic that has prevented some work being done [but] I would point out that it has not prevented the reintroduction of car parking spaces.
“I want to know what is stopping action being taken to deliver a council policy three and half years after it was passed.”
He added: “West End residents cannot buy a pass that would allow them to use these car parks where charges are being reintroduced, residents in other parts of the city can buy such a pass.
“This is unfair. It could cost a local resident up to £500 per year. In Broughty Ferry an annual permit costs £84, in Menzieshill it costs £20 and in the city centre it is £120 per year and this includes use of secure car parks
“The West End needs a joined-up approach to car parking, one which is fair to local residents.”
It is also feared the charges will lead to more traffic on the surrounding streets as drivers search for free parking.
Russell Pepper, chairman of West End Community Council, said: “We believe the council should have undertaken proper consultation with West End residents before implementing the charges, which should have been implemented alongside a resident’s parking scheme.
“Reintroducing the charges now will – as before – only serve to make the surrounding streets more clogged with traffic, polluted and more dangerous as people search for free spaces.”
A spokesperson for Dundee City Council said: “The potential for a resident parking scheme around the periphery city centre is high on the council’s agenda and work was ongoing before the pandemic.
“Community engagement is due to re-start when the current spike in Covid case numbers starts to ease.
“In the meantime, there are two free car parks in the Perth Road Lanes area, as well as on-street parking options for those who choose not to pay the £2 daily charge to use the council car parks with the reintroduced tariff.”
Throughout Dundee, most parking charges originally suspended due to lockdown, were reinforced at the beginning of May.
The council has advised that charges will be in operation at the car parks from Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm, with the first two hours free.
After the two hours, it will cost £1 to park for another two to four hours and £2 for a maximum stay of eight hours.
A valid ticket or ‘Just Park‘ session is required for the first two hours of free parking as the sessions are time restricted.