Six new parking zones for Edinburgh

Friday September 2nd 2022


New Edinburgh Controlled Parking Zone map.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Donald Turvill

Parking charges are set to come into effect on dozens of streets across Edinburgh later this year after councillors voted to push ahead with the creation of six new zones.

A huge expansion of the capital’s Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) programme will see weekday restrictions introduced in several areas including Abbeyhill, Leith Walk and Gorgie.

Edinburgh City Council said the move will help to meet its climate targets by encouraging more people to use public transport.

Following final approved by Edinburgh City Council’s transport committee on Thursday (September 1) contractors will begin the process of painting double yellow lines and installing pay and display ticket machines, which will cost £2.5m.

Officials have estimated the charges will come into effect ‘towards the end of 2022, and to continue into 2023’ and raise around £2m a year which will be reinvested in transport improvements for Edinburgh.

The new zones will be in Abbeyhill; Leith Walk and Pilrig; Leith and North Leith; Shandon; Gorgie and Gorgie North and the existing parking area in Lockharton.

Residents who live in these areas and use on-street parking will be required to pay for a permit.

As is the case in other CPZs, restrictions will not apply outwith Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.

The committee heard that 1,003 objections were made to the council regarding the changes.

Among the concerns raised during the consultation were that charges will ‘discourage visitors’, restrict access for tradespeople and services, and charges would be ‘unaffordable for residents’.

One respondent from Leith wrote: “You are targeting an area of multiple deprivation by expecting people to pay to park.”

Others argued the creation of the new zones is simply a ‘money making scheme’, and a decision that is “morally wrong and purely designed to generate more income for the city” according to a resident.

It was also put to the council that some of the neighbourhoods set to be hit with restrictions don’t currently experience parking issues.

A respondent from Shandon said: “I’ve lived on Stewart Terrace for 15 years and during that period the only times I’ve found difficulty finding a parking space is during match days at Tynecastle and Murrayfield.

“That you are proposing to bring in parking restrictions that will not include most days when matches are on is quite extraordinary.”

A council report said the proposals “are anticipated to result in a positive impact in respect of carbon impacts, and adaptation to climate change, discouraging commuting to work and encouraging increased use of public transport and other, more sustainable form of transport”.

However, it added a “potential adverse impact” could see parking problems simply moved to streets neighbouring those contained in the new zones.

The council said monitoring processes have already been put in place “to ensure that, should any such migration occur, then further action can be taken to address parking pressures that arise in those areas”.

Whilst supporting some of the new CPZs going ahead, the Liberal Democrats voted against parking charges in Leith and North Leith, and Gorgie and Gorgie North, however the move was not supported by a majority of councillors in the chamber.

Lib Dem group leader Kevin Lang argued that the case “has not been made” for these areas.

He said: “We don’t think the case is strong enough and clearly from the objections we don’t think there is sufficient public support for these either.”

His party colleague Sanne Dijkstra-Downie, Lib Dems, added: “We’ve always had concerns about the expansion of parking controls in areas where there wasn’t support from the community for these schemes and we now see these concerns backed up through the volume of objections to the TROs in particular areas in Leith and North Leith and Gorgie and Gorgie North.”

Convener Scott Arthur, Labour, told councillors the scheme will ‘evolve on the ground it is implemented’.

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