THE cost of all-day parking is to be cut by as much as £2.50 on a series of Edinburgh streets.
The move to reduce charges for nine-hour parking from 5.50 to 3 per day on 17 roads was approved by the council's transport, infrastructure and environment committee.
Councillors gave permission for the new charge, which will be introduced later this year, to be applied to 532 parking spaces across the city, including slots in London Road, Polwarth Terrace, Colinton Road, Cluny Avenue and Brunswick Road.
In a report, the city council said ticket machine data had shown that there were several streets close to the city centre where parking spaces were under-used.
Transport convener Councillor Gordon Mackenzie said: "The reason for introducing the new charges is two-fold. Principally, it will help to relieve the pressure on streets immediately outside the existing zone, and, secondly, it will provide greater flexibility for both the short and long term.
"Currently there is a minimum 3 charge in some of these areas, but now you will be able to park for a minimum of 18 minutes for 30p."
He added: "A pilot has been up and running since the beginning of last year on Lauder Road where there has been all-day parking for a reduced rate for the past year."
However, the move has come under fire from Green councillors in Edinburgh who argue that it will encourage additional commuter parking, as well as bringing more traffic into the city centre and increasing congestion and pollution levels.
Green councillor for the Southside and Newington ward, Steve Burgess, who voted against the proposal, said: "This is an irresponsible policy running completely counter to the city's supposed transport vision of reducing car trips.
"With traffic clogging our streets and causing congestion and pollution, the council should be encouraging commuters to use park and ride or take public transport.
"But because it will now be only 40p more to drive into the city to park, compared to using park and ride, this entirely undermines the council's own aim of reducing commuter traffic."
The council's director of city development, Dave Anderson, said the current under-use and consequent availability of nine-hour parking places offered an opportunity to introduce "greater flexibility and better manage demand".
Streets where the all day (9-hour) parking charge is being reduced to 3.00 include:
South Ettrick Road
Wester Coates Road
Orchard Brae Avenue