Legal move to implement controlled parking zones in Edinburgh

Plans to charge capital residents more to park in their own neighbourhoods are set to come to fruition, as the council reveals it is beginning legal proceedings to implement controlled parking zones.

Cllr Lesley Macinnes 
SNP Councillor for Liberton/Gilmerton 
Transport and Environment Convener
Cllr Lesley Macinnes SNP Councillor for Liberton/Gilmerton Transport and Environment Convener

The next steps to introduce parking measures to alleviate parking pressures around the capital are set to be confirmed at the next meeting of Edinburgh City Council’s transport committee on Thursday.

Phase one of a four-phase roll out of controlled parking zones will see parking restrictions implemented in Leith, Gorgie and Shandon - specifically in the Leith Walk, Pilrig, Abbeyhill and North Leith areas.

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The commencement of the legal process for implementing phase one, if approved at committee, comes after an initial consultation with residents carried out by the council.

The council distributed 33,313 leaflets advertising the consultation and the location of drop in sessions.

The consultation attracted 1,259 responses, of which 1,098 were from residents of the affected neighbourhoods.

Of the respondents, 49 per cent (624 people) said they experience parking problems, while another 49 per cent of people (but 10 people less at 614 people) said they do not experience parking problems. A further 21 people left the question blank.

Responses from those saying they do experience parking problems were highest in the Shandon and Abbeyhill areas, with 69 per cent and 70 per cent of respondents in those areas saying they have parking issues, respectively.

Following the legal process, a second consultation on phase one is set to be launched in quarter four of 2021, followed by a planned implementation in quarter one of 2022.

No decision on the cost of permits has been made yet, but the council’s consultation literature says households will be eligible for up to two permits each, for two separate individuals.

Transport committee convener Lesley Macinnes, and SNP councillor for Liberton and Gilmerton, said: “This review responds to the concerns of residents across the city, many of whom have told us that they want to see controls introduced to help limit the impact of non-residential parking.

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“Thanks to an in-depth, citywide analysis we have been able to identify the areas most in need of restrictions.

“Of course, the way we travel has changed immeasurably over the last year, but the introduction of new controlled parking zones will be extremely beneficial to managing parking pressures when we eventually return to some sense of normality.“Not only do these controls help residents to park near their homes, but they can encourage those travelling into and around the city to consider alternative, sustainable modes of transport.”

Phase two of the introduction of controlled parking zones will centre on the A8 corridor - with Roseburn, Corstorphine and Saughton in line for permit-only parking.

Furthermore, Leith will be set for further restrictions, as phase two also includes plans for Willowbrae North, West Leith, Bonnington and Easter Road.

Consultation on phase two has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, with the public responses set to be gathered in quarter two of 2021, and the final implementation planned for quarter two of 2022.

Phase three will focus on the Fettes and Southside areas, and is set to be implemented in late 2022, while phase four will focus on Newhaven, Trinity, South Morningside, Portobello, Stenhouse and Saughton, and is scheduled to be implemented sometime in the first half of 2023.

A spokesperson for Edinburgh City Council said: “We began the Strategic Parking Review in 2018 in response to comments from residents, community councils and ward councillors across the city, which demonstrated increasing support for new parking controls to limit non-residential parking.

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“An in-depth review split the city into five areas, further subdivided into 124 investigation areas, helping to generate heat maps for each location, showing relative parking pressures by street.

“As a result, a series of new parking controls were approved in 2019, to be implemented in four phases.

“On Thursday, committee members will also be asked to approve proposals to commence the legal process for introducing limited parking controls in Sighthill Industrial Estate to help manage parking demand there, as well as restrictions on the availability of permits for new or redeveloped properties.”

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