Fife Council parking charges will be suspended from Monday.
Councillors on the policy and co-ordination committee approved the move today after it was raised as an emergency agenda item following the announcement of a new national lockdown earlier this week.
The policy which will be in place until the new lockdown is lifted by the Scottish Government, mirrors the action taken from April 9 to August 2 last year.
The council said it recognised the downturn in demand and activity, and wanted to support key workers and the wider community.
Dundee City Council took a similar step by suspending charges from Boxing Day for three weeks.
Fife Council says the suspension of its charges will come into effect on January 11 and continue for the foreseeable future.
Derek Crowe, roads and transportation services senior manager, told councillors: “We need a few days to set up the arrangements for the bagging off of all the machines and putting signage in car parks, so the proposal is to put in the suspension from Monday.
“There is a lack of clarity on how long the suspension may be required, since the lockdown is anticipated to last until the end of January 2021 but could be extended further.
“On that basis it is proposed to suspend charges until such time that the full lockdown has been lifted by the Scottish Government.”
Notices will be placed on all public pay and display machines, while cashless users will be advised of the suspension of charges via the RingGo mobile phone app.
Most of the council’s operational parking team will again be furloughed to cut costs, although – unlike the previous lockdown – Mr Crowe said a small number of car park staff will be retained to deal with any issues that may arise.
The decision had to be approved by councillors as there is a cost element involved.
Around £200,000 a month would normally be recovered through parking charges at this time of year.
Conservative leader Dave Dempsey said he hoped it meant other things, such as filling potholes, would not suffer as a result of the loss of income, but Mr Crowe stressed there was no link between the two budgets.
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