Council weighs up cost of free Saturday parking

© DC Thomson
The Thimblerow site could offer free parking on Saturdays in December

Free Saturday parking could be introduced across Perth and Kinross-shire in the run-up to Christmas.

Councillors are being asked to approve proposals which will allow shoppers to park without charge at all local authority-run car parks.

It follows suggestions from local shopkeepers, who believe the move could help bring more people into the area and help boost the retail sector.

Previously, the local authority had offered only limited free parking on certain afternoons.

Councillor Colin Stewart, convener of the environment, enterprise and infrastructure committee said: “For a number of years the council has offered visitors to Perth and the surrounding towns free parking in the festive season. This year, in direct response to a request from local traders, we’re looking to focus that offer to free parking on Saturdays throughout December.

“While parking charges in Perth are very reasonable in comparison to our nearest cities and retail centres, free Saturday parking provides an added incentive to residents and visitors, to encourage them to shop local this Christmas.”

If approved, the council expects to make an income loss of around £25,000, which would need to be met from the parking services budget.

On-street parking is excluded from the scheme, as these are intended to offer parking for short-term visitors looking to pop into a nearby shop.

The Perth car parks are: Mill Street; Milne Street; Library East and West; Carpenter Court; Leonard Street; Mill Wynd; West Mill Street; Canal Street; Speygate; Charles Street; Scott Street; Back Wynd; Norrie Miller Riverside Turning-Head; Canal street Multi-storey, (Shopmobility operates from this car park); Thimblerow; South Inch, and Victoria Street.

The promotion would also apply to Council operated car parks in Blairgowrie, Crieff, Dunkeld and Pitlochry town centres.