Edinburgh Tories claim controlled parking zones to be pushed through despite residents' objections

Unwanted plans to make more Edinburgh residents pay for parking permits are set to be brought in after the council elections if the current administration is returned to power, Tories have claimed.

By Ian Swanson
Monday, 25th April 2022, 4:55 am

Public comments on proposals for new controlled parking zones (CPZs) across a swathe of residential areas in the Capital showed 86 per cent opposition

.But Lothian Tory MSP Miles Briggs said he feared the SNP and Labour, backed by the Greens, were determined to push the changes through anyway.

The plan for CPZs in Bonnington, Corstorphine, Easter Road, Murrayfield, Roseburn, Saughtonhall, West Leith and Willowbrae North are phase two of a city-wide strategic review of parking.

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On an interactive map where respondents could leave comments, the vast majority were critical of the proposed CPZs in their area. Out of 2306 comments, 1978, or 86 per cent, were negative; 194 – just eight per cent – were positive; and 134, or six per cent, were neutral.

The most common objection was that a CPZ would make parking worse in their area, with many saying they currently had no problem parking. Other concerns included disabled parking, reductions in parking spaces and the displacement of parking to other streets.

After receiving a report on the responses, the council’s transport committee agreed last August to carry out further engagement with residents’ groups and others and receive another report in autumn 2022 at the latest.

The Tories’ manifesto for the May 5 local elections says: “Controlled parking schemes should only go ahead where there is proven need and resident demand.”

Many residents said they did not have a problem parking. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The Lib Dems’ also promise: “We will only pursue new CPZs where there is clear evidence of parking issues and where consultations show clear local support among affected residents.”

The SNP manifesto makes no mention of CPZs. Labour’s talks about “restrictions on commuter street parking in residential areas”. And the Greens propose “an action plan to reduce overall car parking spaces in the city each year while extending the CPZs”.

Mr Briggs, said: “It is unacceptable that SNP and Labour council leaders have commissioned a report later this year for the roll-out of CPZs, despite overwhelming objection last year. The council can’t just do a fresh consultation because they did not like the result that they got the first time.

“I have real concerns that SNP, Labour and Green councillors just want to get through this election, then implement controversial policies without public consent, because it will be another fiver years until they are answerable to local residents.”

A breakdown of the comments left on the interactive map shows 367 out of the 396 comments on the proposed Bonnington CPZ were negative, as were 509 out of 579 on the Corstorphine one, 74 out of 108 on Easter Road, 185 out of 238 on Murrayfield, 35 out of 39 on Roseburn, 216 out of 259 on Saughtonhall, 323 out of 389 on West Leith and 269 out of 298 on Willowbrae North.

SNP transport convener Lesley Macinnes said the Tories did not understand the “pressing need for progressive change” on transport issues. The council’s strategic parking review was to tackle residents’ concerns about parking where they had to compete with commuters and visitors for spaces.

"We made a collective decision in committee to pause phase two until next year to allow phase one to be implemented and monitored for any effects, not to rerun a consultation to get different results as the Tories allege.”

She said the SNP manifesto proposed positive action to tackle climate change, city transport management, air pollution and the inequalities of city life where 45 per cent of households did not have access to a car. “The Tories on the other hand have a manifesto that does not effectively address any of these issues and reads like a throwback to the 80s.”

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