A call for Sunday car parking charges to be scrapped in Dunfermline centre is to be stepped up next month, The Courier has learned.
Dunfermline South Liberal Democrat councillor James Calder has teamed up with Conservative councillor Gavin Ellis, who represents Dunfermline North, to put forward a motion to the next Dunfermline area committee on February 5 to look into the possibility of scrapping the widely unpopular Sunday levy.
If the motion finds favour with councillors council officials will be asked to prepare a report reviewing Sunday charges with the option of removing them.
They will also be asked to consider what other key shopping dates in the year could be included in the free parking scheme to encourage more residents and visitors to shop in Dunfermline.
Mr Calder said: “With other towns and cities nearby not having Sunday parking charges, it seems ludicrous that Dunfermline is scoring an own goal by having them.
“As a result of recent calls, I have discussed with Councillor Ellis and we both agree that the charges should be scrapped.
“I’m pleased we have worked across party lines to put forward a motion to the Dunfermline area committee to look towards scrapping these charges.”
Many business owners and operators expressed their disappointment when Sunday charging from 1pm onwards came into force in January 2017, and that opinion does not seem to have changed.
Dunfermline Delivers, the city’s Business Improvement District (BID), is currently collating the views of local businesses on Sunday parking and has been consistent in its opposition to the Sunday charges.
Lisa Edwards, BID manager for Dunfermline Delivers, said: “We continue to campaign for the removal of Sunday charging by having regular discussions with Fife Council.
“We have also sent a survey to all BID businesses to get a more detailed picture of the impact Sunday charging has had on our BID businesses, and the town centre in general, and we will be presenting these results to Fife Council once the survey is complete.”
With that in mind, Councillor Ellis said he was delighted to taking cross-party action on the issue and hopes all councillors will back it when it comes to committee.
“Dunfermline already has large areas of free parking around the town and it makes no sense to continue hampering our High Street, we must ease access,” he commented.
“This means that we will stop penalising and instead start listening to local businesses and communities who agree we should scrap Sunday parking charges.”