THE Conservative group on Aberdeen’s ruling coalition administration today called for parking charges in the city centre to be reduced to help stimulate local trade and bring vibrancy back to the heart of the Granite City.
The call was made ahead of the outcome of city wide review of council parking charges in Aberdeen
The Labour-led administration is proposing to bring in a standard 8pm cut off point for charges in the city and to reduce the cost of some parking permits. There are areas of the city where parking charges do not currently end until 10pm.
Councillor Ross Thomson, the secretary of the Tory Group, said:“There is clear evidence that there is a strong relationship between parking provision, parking charges and footfall on our high streets. Conservatives on Aberdeen City Council are extremely concerned that current parking policies in Aberdeen are having a detrimental effect on local trade and that the council’s current city centre parking strategy is merely pursuing revenue and turning shoppers away from the high street.”
He claimed: “Draconian measures and the lack of city centre parking provision are driving motorists into the arms of internet retailers, are undermining businesses on our high street and increasing the cost of living. The council needs to focus on supporting local businesses and traders which will support local jobs and boost tourism.
“Currently city centre parking is expensive, inconvenient and in need of reform.”
Councillor Thomson continued: “Parking charges should be appropriate and not undermine the vitality of the city centre. We want to see the cost of residential permits reduced from their current £80 to £50.”
He added: “Quite simply car parking charges cannot be viewed as a cash cow for the council. Inconsistent and high charges can damage the vibrancy of our city centre which is already in desperate need of regeneration.”