Holyrood Park crackdown on illegal parking

A CRACKDOWN has been launched on “illegal parking” at a popular beauty spot amid claims free spaces are being abused by office workers.
The closed car park. Picture: Phil WilkinsonThe closed car park. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
The closed car park. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Historic Scotland, which runs the car park at St Margaret’s Loch in Holyrood Park, said it was bringing in “permanent measures” to keep non-visitors out.

But it’s understood the Government-funded agency will stop short of introducing charges for motorists.

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Instead, it is considering measures such as perimeter bollards at the entrance and exit to the car park.

The car park has been temporarily closed to allow the work, and other landscaping works, to be carried out and is due to reopen at the end of the month.

One driver who complained to Historic Scotland about the closure was told that motorists who work near Holyrood Park had been abusing spaces.

In a response to the motorist, senior park ranger James Hamilton said: “The car park is likely to be closed until the end of March as the parks grounds team will be carrying out gully clearing and hedge trimming in the car park and surrounding area.

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“As a result of continued illegal parking in this car park, further measures are in hand to control car park access which will also require the car park to remain closed.

“As a regular visitor to Arthur’s Seat you will be aware of the palace (Broad Pavement) car park – some 400m to the west of St Margaret’s Loch car park – which inquires indicate was less than half full on March 3.

“While this is a pay and display car park, charges are modest. Alternative free parking is available in our small Duddingston Loch car park and there is public car parking at St John’s Hill.

“Historic Scotland and our parks team are very conscious of the disruption to parking resulting from essential maintenance and I would like to apologise for this.

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“We are also aware of the unfortunate situation where regular and genuine park users fall foul of measures to limit the continuing illegal parking in our car parks.”

The area is popular with people wishing to climb Arthur’s Seat, visit the ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel or feed the wild fowl in the loch.

Once a boggy, marshland, the loch was formed in 1856 as part of Prince Albert’s improvement plans for the area surrounding the palace.

A Historic Scotland spokesman said: “We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, However, alternative free and pay and display parking is still available within Holyrood Park.

“We are also taking this opportunity, whilst the car park is closed, to put in place permanent measures that will allow for improved access control and management of the car park.”