Road marking blunder leaves St Andrew Square open for free parking

The south side of St Andrew Square.
The south side of St Andrew Square.
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IT is the kind of bonus only usually reserved for those lucky enough to land on a certain square of the Monopoly board.

But it has now been revealed Capital motorists could have been enjoying free parking for months – after its was revealed bungling council road workers painted the wrong markings on a busy city centre street.

Parking attendants lurking in St Andrew Square have been unable to hand out fines to motorists in the area because incorrect instructions had been pasted on the road.

And council bosses have admitted it could be January before they are able to rectify the problem, giving drivers parking on the south side of the square in front of eateries such as The Ivy and Dishoom free reign until then.

Drivers branded the oversight “ludicrous” given the cost of parking in the capital city centre.

One motorist, who asked not to be named, commented: “I asked a couple of attendants why they never booked anyone and was told they couldn’t as the markings were wrong.”

“They say it doesn’t matter that it’s double yellows or disabled bays, there’s nothing they can do. It means anyone can park in the loading bays, taxi rank or disabled bays and won’t get a ticket.”

He continued: “Parking attendants I’ve spoken to say the council were notified two years ago and nothing has been done.”

Another added: “It is a wee bit ludicrous that it has been allowed to go on for what seems like a long time, I’m really surprised more people haven’t taken advantage of it if that is the case.”

“Given how expensive it is to park in Edinburgh, I can’t imagine the council are missing out on too much money, but it is a bit embarrassing.

“I don’t know how much it usually costs, but someone has probably saved a substantial amount by parking there this year.”

In April the Evening News reported that it was now cheaper to get a parking ticket instead of paying to leave their vehicle in certain areas of town, thanks to penalty charges not rising in line with increased hourly rates.

It was also revealed city chiefs have a 12-year backlog of 20,000 parking fines costing local authority transport bosses more than £1.2 million in lost revenue.

Figures released earlier this year found more than 53,000 parking fines had been handed out to drivers parked in the city centre without paying the relevant penalty charge.

Parking charge notices handed out to drivers carry an automatic £60 charge, reduced to £30 if they pay within 14 days.

Councillor Karen Doran, Vice Transport Convener, said the authority hoped to have a new Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) in place within weeks of the new year.

She added: “There is an outstanding objection to the necessary TRO for south St Andrew Square which will allow 
parking restrictions to be enforced.”

Cllr Doran continued: “Under the new Scheme of Delegation which Council approved last week, we’ll now be able to progress a new TRO as an immediate priority, to make sure we get this sorted.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com