A St Andrews councillor has hit out at moves to suspend all Fife Council parking charges, insisting it is not appropriate for the town.
Dominic Nolan said previous attempts to ease up on enforcement in St Andrews had brought traffic grinding to a halt and he feared the new measures, being introduced across the region in response to the latest lockdown, would lead to similar problems and harm trade.
“Scrapping parking charges may work for some areas but it’s not appropriate for St Andrews,” said the Conservative councillor.
“We have already seen last year that without proper parking enforcement, St Andrews comes to a standstill.
“We’ve all had a difficult year but if there is little turnover of people making use of these spaces the threat posed to the town centre goes far beyond lost income.”
Charges at all on-street locations and in public car parks in Fife will be suspended from today.
Members on the local authority’s policy and co-ordination committee rushed through an emergency agenda item on parking fees after the national lockdown was announced by the Scottish Government on January 4.
Fees were waived for several months during the 2020 lockdown period.
Supporters of the move said it would help safeguard access for key workers and local communities.
The policy will remain in place until the temporary lockdown is lifted.
In addition to suspending charges, time limited waiting at all locations has also been scrapped, meaning drivers can park for any length of time across Fife.
Other restrictions such as yellow lines, loading bays and disabled parking places will continue to be enforced.
Labour councillor Altany Craik, Fife Council’s transportation spokesperson, said: “Removing parking charges and time limited parking is a small thing we can do to help our key workers and communities at this time.
“It also helps reduce pressure on residents, particularly in town centres, where demand for parking has increased during this period.
“I like to take this opportunity to thank all of Fife’s key workers for the vital services they’re providing during this pandemic.”
Blue badges that expired from January 1 will continue to be valid until February 28 in all council parking places.
All pay and display machines should have been fitted with notices advising about the free parking.