Councillors in Angus are mired in fresh parking controversy after approving plans for extra double yellow lines across the county.
Members voted on Tuesday to approve additional no parking zones on roads in Arbroath, Montrose, Muirhead and Forfar on public safety grounds
Critics said the plans would worsen existing parking shortages, some of which had been created by the controversial decision to introduce charges to car parks in 2018.
Objectors also slated a lack of consultation around the new double yellows, attacking the council for attaching hard to read notices to lampposts on affected streets during the festive period.
One Arbroath critic said the changes were “rash” and “discriminatory”.
“There appears to have been a knee jerk reaction,” he said.
The no parking zones include Elliot Place, Hill Road and South Street in Arbroath; George Street, Hill Place, Panter Crescent and the River Street area of Montrose; and Quarry Road in Muirhead.
The new restrictions also include Orchard Loan and Silvie Way in Orchardbank Business Park, outside the council’s HQ building in Forfar. Nearby businesses have grown frustrated with local authority staff spilling out of packed car parks. However, workers at the council have said their car parks are full of commuters looking to avoid the parking charges levied on town centre car parks. The shortage has become so bad the council’s depute chief executive Mark Armstrong said he chose to work from other buildings at least two days a week.
The council received 35 letters of objections, and two notices of support, after pinning signs to lampposts in the affected areas and advertising in the local press.
Mr Armstrong said the council was proposing the restrictions in an effort to enforce the highway code and clamp down on people parking dangerously close to junctions.
Opposition councillors argued for more time to implement the plans as they had “not been thought through.”
SNP group leader councillor Lynne Devine stressed the impact of the changes would have on council staff working at Orchardbank.
She said: “Everyone knows there are safety issues on that long, long bend. The staff are going to have a huge problem if we do this now.”
Carnoustie independent Councillor David Cheape said the changes were using “a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”
“If we are hearing that people have concerns about this then let’s listen to them rather than go ahead. It’s common sense,” he added.
Administration economic spokesman councillor Braden Davy, Conservative, backed the proposals.
“Heaven forbid an accident were to happen,” he said.
“It’s not just this problem caused by congestion with lorries parked up, cars blocking roads, and cars blocking bends.
“Imagine if someone is knocked over because we didn’t make the safety improvements we have been told are needed,” he added.