Edinburgh parking: Restrictions to be extended into evenings and weekends in city centre and surrounding areas

Exemptions likely for people working in the centre and finishing shifts in the early hours
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Parking restrictions in Edinburgh city centre and surrounding areas are to be extended into the evenings and weekends as part of the council's shake-up of transport in the Capital.

Motorists could have to pay for parking up until 10pm and even face an overnight parking charge under the proposals sketched out in the strategy document Our Future Streets. The changes would apply in the eight central and peripheral parking zones, which together cover a large swathe of the city.

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Transport convener Scott Arthur said extending the hours would help tackle problems of bad parking and pressure on residential spaces.  He said: "It's about encouraging people to use public transport and also protecting people who live in permit areas but struggle to get a space because of the relaxation of restrictions outside the hours and at weekends." 

But he said there were likely to be exemptions for people working in the city centre until very late, who would struggle to get home without a car. He said; "We'll be looking at some kind of permit for people coming into the city for work and finishing in the early hours to exempt them from a charge. Many of these staff are likely to be low-paid and we don't want to charge them for having to travel at times when public transport might not be as good."

Parking restrictions in the central zones (1-4) currently operate from 8.30am-6.30pm Monday-Staurday and 12.30pm-6.30pm on Sundays. In the peripheral zones (5-8) the restrictions apply 8.30am-5.30pm Monday to Friday and not at all at weekends.

The strategy document says: "The resulting uncontrolled parking creates worse conditions for pedestrians, hinders public transport competitiveness, encourages car use over other forms of transport, and removes the protection afforded by residents parking bays.  Consequently, it is proposed to extend the hours of operation of controlled parking in parking zones 1-8 into the evening, seven days a week and to review morning start times." 

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Cllr Arthur said parking problems in the evenings included cars blocking arterial routes and issues around eateries where people were picking up food. "And people with permits complain about not being able to access their spaces in the evenings  and mornings because of other parked vehicles."

He said there were no firm proposals about what the extended hours would be. But he said: "There could be a charge up to 10pm, then possibly a small charge for overnight."

Sunday parking charges were only introduced in 2021 and the starting time for the restrictions was set at 12.30pm after consultations with city-centre churches about people attending Sunday morning services. Cllr Arthur said any change to the hours on a Sunday would have to involved further such discussions. "We would have to engage with faith communities again, he said.

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