The introduction of car parking charges has been blamed for a rise in nuisance parking at an Angus harbour.
Barriers are to be erected at Arbroath after the harbour master said members of the public were “often abandoning cars at the harbour for the day”, affecting access and operations and potentially hindering lifeboat crews.
A report before members of the Arbroath Harbour joint consultative committee revealed there had been “noticeable increased use” of free parking along the Western Quay of the inner harbour since the council brought in off-street charges to The Shore car park.
Overspill into the quayside area, towards the Fishmarket and fuel dispenser, has also been noted.
The controlled barriers are set to be installed at an estimated cost of £10,000.
The first will be located between the RNLI barrier and the inner harbour.
A second proposed barrier would be installed at Marketgate.
Arbroath East and Lunan SNP Councillor Brenda Durno said the costs should be deducted from car parking charges income.
She said: “I welcome the fact that these barriers are to be introduced for the smooth running of the harbour, but there is no doubt that the introduction of car parking charges are wholly responsible for this situation.
“I understand that the lorry which picks up shellfish has had difficulty accessing the harbour, and the report highlights that accidents involving vehicles have occurred.
“Parking charges are also having a significant negative impact on streets near the harbour as people look around for places to park that are free.”
An Angus Council spokesman said it was anticipated that the costs for the works would be met jointly by the harbour and from parking funds.
He said some free parking along the Western Quay of the inner harbour will be absorbed in a revised boundary of Shore car park, where charges will be applied.
“Eighteen remaining bays will be behind a barrier and available to harbour users only,” said the spokesman.
“Importantly, this will ensure unrestricted access to the RNLI station for its crew and help to ensure safety for all harbour users, visitors and staff.”
The spokesman said incidents of inconsiderate parking has also led to barriers being erected for safety and operational reasons along the South Breakwater.
“Arbroath Harbour has long proved to be a popular draw for residents and visitors,” he added.
“Challenges around available parking are not new and the Harbour Master and staff have found it challenging to counteract poor and inconsiderate parking for many years. Historic harbour by-laws to not allow for rapid action but we all continue to strive to maintain open access to the harbour.”