Dundee councillors have rejected a proposed parking permit scheme for residents in the West End who live next to car parks.
Liberal Democratic group leader and West End councillor, Fraser Macpherson, proposed an annual parking fee for local residents to replace daily tariffs.
Speaking at the council’s city development committee on Monday, Mr Macpherson said such a scheme would be more affordable and would fall in-line with other parts of Dundee such as Broughty Ferry.
He also suggested such a scheme could reduce on-street parking.
In the motion, Mr Macpherson asked for council officers to draft details of a scheme for residents living next to: Roseangle, Pennycook Lane, Miller’s Wynd, Ryehill Lane, Mid
Wynd, Union Place North and Bellfield Street North car parks.
The committee’s convener, SNP councillor for Coldside, Mark Flynn said current parking tariffs, including the first two hours free between 9 am and 5pm, parking “on-street” and “various other parts of the area” are working.
He also emphasized that parking between 5pm and 9am is also free.
Mr Flynn opposed Mr Macpherson’s motion with an amendment to maintain the “status quo” which won by 15 votes to 13.
‘A matter of fairness’
Mr Macpherson said: “If a resident, living next to a car park, were to park each work week day of the year – it would be £520 per annum, which is pretty outrageous.”
He continued: “The reality is that…because of the financial cost of doing that every day is so great for residents, many are trying their luck parking on-street.
“There are a number of negatives in that…it’s not very environmentally friendly as they drive round and round trying to find a parking space in an area that has some of the most challenging parking in the city.
“Secondly, it has spread on the on-street parking difficulties over a wider area and made it more difficult for everybody.”
He concluded: “It’s a matter of fairness…if we can do this for one area, which has the same situation of daily charges, we can do it in another.”
‘Not forcing people into car parks.
Mr Flynn said: “I think there’s no need for everyone to park in these car parks. There are options available to park on-street and other parts of the area, if they choose to do that.
“We’re not forcing anyone to park in the car parks and pay.”
Mr Flynn continued: “I think that’s one of the misconceptions of what you’ve said there, the fact that someone would be paying over £500 per year.
“But that’s the choice to park in the car park…I don’t see many people doing that, especially if they’re working.
“They won’t be back till about 5 pm and they’ll probably be away before 9 am, so technically there’ll be no charge.
“So, I’m minded not to do this and just move on.”
‘Residents will take note’
Mr Macpherson said: “I don’t think your points are remotely valid, convener….
“Have you tried parking in that area on-street?
“It is a massive challenge and I challenge any member of this committee to say that parking on-street in the area around that particular car park is anything other than a real challenge.
“For the bulk of the time I’ve been a member of the council, there were no charges at these car parks..
“You come along; all of a sudden the SNP administration imposed these charges, against the wishes of the people who live there.
“And West End residents will take note.”