THOUSANDS of city centre residents will have to pay more for their parking permits after controversial Sunday parking charges come into force.
An 8.5 per cent hike in the cost of residents’ permits in the central zones 1-4 to coincide with the extension of parking controls to cover Sunday afternoons has already been approved in principle.
And that will come on top of the five per cent price increase proposed as part of next year’s council budget.
But today the move was attacked as “insulting” and “not reasonable”.
For owners of cars requiring the most expensive permits, the two increases together would take the annual cost of parking outside their own homes from £475 to over £540.
The middle-priced permit – currently £235 a year – would increase by more than £32.
The council says the price rise is to pay for increased enforcement on Sundays when parking charges are introduced – probably in early 2019.
But Ian Mowat, chairman of New Town and Broughton Community Council, said it was “quite wrong” that residents should face a rise in parking permit prices.
He said: “The permit charges are quite high in Zones 1-4 as it is. This is not reasonable. There are arguments for and against having charges on a Sunday, but it should wash its face without the need to put up residents’ permits.”
Conservative transport spokesman Nick Cook said: “It is insulting that city centre residents will have to fork out an extra 8.5 per cent for a parking permit to fund the council’s deeply unpopular decision to press ahead with Sunday parking charging.
“The operating costs of Sunday parking should be covered through ‘pay and display’ receipts, not a naked cash grab on council tax paying residents.
“With these increases coming on top of the council’s usual parking permit price hike bonanza, motorists living in Edinburgh continue to be treated with disdain by a council looking to make an easy buck, rather than support hardworking residents who require a car.”
Transport convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes defended the increase and said all income from parking was reinvested in road maintenance and transport infrastructure.
She said: “Parking restrictions benefit businesses and residents by deterring all-day parking and encouraging the frequent turnaround of spaces for visitors and shoppers.
“They also maintain visibility and space for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers and open the road for larger vehicles, such as buses and lorries, as well as keeping it clear for the emergency services.”