It's going to cost more to park by the shore at East Lothian coastal beauty spots
Coastal car park charges across East Lothian will increase by 20 per cent from August 16.
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Members of East Lothian Council’s cabinet approved the plans for some of the most popular beauty spots at a virtual meeting on Tuesday
The move will mean daily charges will go from £2 to £2.50, with a season ticket rising from £40 annually to £50.
Councillor Jim Goodfellow told the cabinet meeting that the fee was cheaper than an ice cream for visitors to the council-operated car parks.
He told members: “To put it in perspective, people pay more for their ice cream than they pay to park.”
The minority Labour administration cabinet unanimously supported the increase in the charges.
Councillor Norman Hampshire, depute leader, who chaired the meeting, said that visitors to East Lothian’s 40 miles of coastline expected quality and that needed income.
He said: “The revenue obtained from the car parking charges has been invested back into maintenance and improvements of facilities at the coastal sites.
“Around £500,000 has already been spent on extensive upgrading of toilet and changing facilities at Longniddry Bents car parks 1-3, which includes fully accessible toilets and baby changing areas.
“Similar plans are well advanced for upgrading at Gullane and we are reviewing future requirements which take into account the increased popularity of a range of water sports and activities.”
Mr Hampshire pointed out that the increase was the first since the charges were introduced across 10 of the county’s coastal car parks in 2015.
Some locals described the influx of visitors to the coastline as a ‘tidal wave’ while police officer were forced to issue several fines for breach of lockdown travel restrictions in force at the time.
He added: “The day ticket when purchased can be used at all sites across the county so you can travel to other locations without having to pay twice.
“The season ticket offers particular value to regular visitors working out at less than £1 a week.”
Car parks where charges are applied are: Longniddry Bents No. 1; Longniddry Bents No. 2; Longniddry Bents No. 3; Gullane Bents; Yellowcraig; John Muir Country Park – Tyninghame Links; John Muir Country Park – Linkfield; Shore Road, Belhaven; Whitesands; and Barns Ness.