Corstorphine residents to take tough stand against parking permit plans

Alex Cole Hamilton. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Alex Cole Hamilton. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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RESIDENTS are set to take a stand against proposals for tough new parking controls in their area as part of the cash-strapped city council’s budget for next year.

Edinburgh Western Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has launched a petition to stop a controlled parking zone (CPZ) – with permits for residents and pay-and-display for other motorists – being established in Corstorphine.

The Evening News revealed last month the move was one of the measures put forward by officials for consideration by the ruling SNP-Labour coalition as it seeks to find savings of £28m.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said he had already carried out a survey on the issue.

“Almost 300 people responded and 95 per cent in the Corstorphine area are opposed to a controlled parking zone,” he said.

There have been persistent complaints about commuters leaving their cars in Corstorphine while they catch a bus into the city centre and holidaymakers doing the same while they get a bus to the airport.

And Mr Cole-Hamilton said there were different opinions on a Priority Parking Area – a scheme designed to help residents park outside their own homes by placing part-time restrictions on parking by other motorists – but strong opposition to a CPZ.

“There is a problem undeniably with parking in Corstorphine,” he said. “There is car dumping from commuters and holiday-makers who sometimes leave their cars for weeks on end.

“But a CPZ is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. There are many different parking options out there. The one thing everyone is loath to adopt is a CPZ.”

He has launched the petition – opposing a CPZ in any part of Corstorphine, Craigmount, Gyle or Drumbrae – on his website.

“My survey demonstrated the breadth of public opposition. Now everyone will have the opportunity to sign the petition so that when the council considers the budget it is left in no doubt how unpopular a move that would be.”

Steve Kerr, of Corstorphine Community Council, said a council survey had found people were frustrated and angry about the problems of motorists using the area as a park-and-ride. But he said: “People want to be measured about it – they want something that will discourage people from dumping their cars here but has the flexibility to ensure they will still have access to their own street and in front of their own houses. They don’t want it to be too draconian.”

He also voiced fears that if plans for a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) focus on the city centre and do not include Corstorphine – which has some of the worst pollution levels in the Capital – the parking problem could become even worse.

“If the vision is all going to be about the city centre and Corstorphine is not included we will end up with more cars dumped here.”

Transport and environment convener Lesley Macinnes said: “We recently carried out our own consultation on this matter, following long-standing discussions with residents, and are currently assessing the results.

“We will make no decision until we have analysed the responses to our consultation.”