WORKERS are snubbing city centre jobs in the Capital or charging up to double their hourly rate over claims they are being targeted by over zealous parking wardens.
George Young, owner of Project Management and Architectural Services, said couriers and contractors were becoming increasingly sick of fines dealt out during drop-offs and site visits.
The 61-year-old building surveyor has been issued with £500 of parking tickets at a single job, which involved surveying work at Black Bo’s pub on Blackfriars Street.
Mr Young said: “The only way I would take a job inside the city now was if I could be guaranteed a car parking space.
“They take away all the parking spaces, so you have to take chances in getting your business done.
“I don’t do jobs in the city centre anymore now. If somebody says ‘I want you to look at some work to do’ and it’s some maintenance on a building and their address is say Frederick Street, I say ‘forget it. I’m not coming out. Get somebody else’.
“This council has gone well beyond business – it’s just money, money, money.”
Drivers issued with a ticket face a £60 fine, or £30 if paid within 14 days.
Mr Young’s admission came as builder Peter Robertson revealed sub-contractors were increasing their hourly rates for city centre jobs to take into account parking costs and fines.
The 62-year-old said the conditions were pushing smaller operators out of the city, leading to less competition and further inflating prices.
He said: “Nearly every day somebody gets a ticket, somebody falls short of the law.
“Locally I charge between £20 to £25 an hour for my tradesmen, plumbers will be £35 up to £40. But if I go into town, it’s £40 minimum for a joiner and £50 to £60 for a plumber or electrician. Those parking costs get passed onto the customer.”
Eagle Couriers invested in an electric bike last year to help avoid tickets.
Operations manager Neil Porteous said parking wardens had only got tougher on couriers in recent years despite the disruption caused by tram works.
He said: “There’s absolutely no leeway at all to be honest. We’ve adapted slightly. We’ve got more push bikes on the roads. We just put on a new electric bike, but obviously you’re limited to what you carry with that kind of vehicle.”
City Couriers business partner Adam Syme said: “Even working for the Edinburgh City Council, who manage the parking attendants, we still get parking tickets. It’s quite ironic.”
Tradesmen have the option of applying for a special parking permit through the council. A month costs £100, an annual permit is £1000.
That allows a tradesperson to park in pay and display bays all day, or in residents’ and shared use spaces between 9am and 4.30pm.
City transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said all marked goods vehicles parked on a yellow line or in a loading bay were given a ten-minute observation period before being fined.