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Parking permits ruled out in three Dundee communities – including the West End – after ‘pathetic’ consultation

A residents' parking scheme for areas of Dundee has been ruled out.
A residents' parking scheme for areas of Dundee has been ruled out.

Parking permits for people living in three areas of Dundee have been ruled out after claims there is not enough appetite for them.

But those in favour of residents’ permits in the West End, Coldside and Maryfield blamed an “inadequate” online consultation for the poor feedback, as only 50 people responded.

Consultation over on-street parking in residential areas has been ongoing since early 2020 but events were held virtually due to coronavirus.

Dundee City Council said two live online sessions were held, a website was launched and public information was displayed in libraries and community centres.

Of the 50 people who responded, 40 were from the West End – where residents’ parking has been most controversial – and there were just five each from Coldside and Maryfield.

‘Wholly inadequate’

West End councillor Fraser Macpherson has slammed the council response as “complacent and wholly unacceptable.”

He is calling for a fresh, “face to face” consultation with the residents of the three areas.

West End councillor Fraser Macpherson claims the council consultation was "wholly unacceptable".
West End councillor Fraser Macpherson claims the council consultation was “wholly unacceptable”.

“Dundee City Council has decided to wash its hands on helping residents with the parking situation  on the back of a wholly inadequate online consultation process,” Mr Macpherson said.

“Only 30 people took part in the council’s online consultation events – no surprise really as they were badly advertised and the engagement can be best described as a bit flat.

“There are thousands of residents in the affected areas but the council gets paltry numbers taking part – it is entirely the council’s fault.

“The council has totally failed to consult properly and you cannot in all reasonableness draw conclusions about lack of support for tackling the parking issues on the back of such an utterly inadequate and half-baked consultation.”

It was also hoped that people living in Maryfield would have benefitted from the scheme
It was also hoped that people living in Maryfield would have benefitted from the scheme

The consultation will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s city development committee on Monday, where it is recommended permits are not introduced.

Mr Macpherson said he plans to oppose this and call for more consultation.

“The council cannot simply ditch the concerns of the community over the parking issue based on a half-baked so called consultation with such pathetic levels of participation,” he added.

Community council ‘very disappointed’

The council said meetings were held with representatives from West End Community Council, Stobswell Forum and Coldside Forum.

Despite this, Russell Pepper, chairman of the West End group, also criticised the consultation process.

“Resident parking permits are very much needed by people who live in these areas,” he said.

Chairman of West End Community Council, Russell Pepper.
Chairman of West End Community Council, Russell Pepper.

“We will be calling for further consultation to take place.

“This should not be abandoned because of the way this consultation was carried out.”

What happened during the consultation?

In-person information event were held two years ago but the consultation was moved online after the coronavirus outbreak.

Virtual consultations included

  • Two live online sessions
  • A dedicated email address for feedback
  • Information displayed at Blackness, Arthurstone Terrace and Wellgate Central libraries and Coldside Community Centre

Following these events, 50 responses were returned but the council said not all of these gave a clear indication of support or opposition.

A statement said 66% of those who gave a clear response were against the introduction of permits.

Community groups only want to see a residents’ parking scheme if it is part of a wider package including traffic reduction measures, bus priority, park and ride and cheaper city centre parking.

No appetite for scheme

Mark Flynn, convener of the city development committee, said: “It is vital when such fundamental change in our communities as this is proposed, that the council’s decision-making processes are supplemented and informed by the views of the people on the ground who would be affected most.”

Mark Flynn, convener of the city development committee.
Mark Flynn.

He added: “That process, which was interrupted by the pandemic, concluded at the end of last year and none of the three areas showed an overwhelming appetite for a residents’ parking scheme to be progressed in isolation, without forming part of a wider change to transport provision in the city.”

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