Midlothian parking changes plan

Tuesday November 26th 2019

Midlothian Parking

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Public car parks and on-street parking could both see charges introduced in Midlothian next year, with workers facing applying for permits to get to their jobs.

A report to Midlothian Council’s cabinet reveals plans to consider introducing the new charges will be considered by a cross-party working group in 2020.

The report, which will be presented to elected members this week, says that introducing additional charges would “be in line with other local authorities that have become decriminalised parking areas.”

It says: “In 2020 the cross-party working group will consider the introduction of future car park charging in all public car parks in Midlothian and on-street parking charges.

“The working group will also examine the possibility of permit parking for businesses/employees.”

The report to cabinet reveals that a public consultation carried out with residents in Dalkeith town centre over introducing residents’ permit parking only failed to garner support.

It said that nearly 1,500 letters were sent to local residents, with 390 responses coming back.

However, only 87 of those were happy to pay for a parking permit and officials said: “It is assumed that the 74 per cent of residents that did not respond by letter or online were not interested in a residents’ parking scheme in Dalkeith.”

Only residents living on one road – Glebe Street – in the town centre gave a high level of support to proposals, with nearly half of them backing them.

The council had asked residents about paying a £75 annual fee for an on-street parking permit rising to £100 for a second vehicle, or paying £50 for a permit to use nearby car parks, with £75 for a second car park permit.

Despite the lack of support, officials are asking councillors to approve proposals to offer the car park permits to residents.

They would cover North Wynd and St Andrew Street car parks in Dalkeith, which are the only two council-run car parks currently charging people to use.

A stay of over one hour in the two pay and display car parks incurs a charge and tickets must be displayed on the vehicles to claim the first free hour.

They have also asked councillors to consider asking for a report on the impact of introducing a workplace parking levy on local businesses – a power given to local authorities by the Scottish Government.

They said: “City of Edinburgh Council and Glasgow City Council are the only councils to date that have publicly announced their intention to take this forward.

“The councils will collect £415 per parking space, payable by the company/business, but could be passed on to individual employees.

“Cabinet may wish to request a report is submitted with recommendations to council following consultation with business groups regarding the economic impact of introducing a parking levy on local employers/businesses and on their employees.”

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