Commuter parking hoggers to face citywide crackdown

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EDINBURGH City Council is to carry out a review of parking flashpoints across the city after residents called for action to halt commuters clogging up roads throughout the Capital.

Angry residents from Leith called on councillors to remove free on-street parking from some areas by expanding parking permitted zones.

Meanwhile a priority parking scheme could be unveiled in Corstorphine to tackle holidaymakers and commuters from taking advantage of free on-street parking.

The council agreed to launch a citywide review of strategic and local parking to “better plan for the future”.

Its Transport and Environment Committee heard from people in Leith who raised serious concerns about the area “becoming the parking place of choice for commuters”.

Iona McLeod, who presented a petition to the committee containing 390 signatures, said: “Parking causes problems for residents in our area whether or not they have cars.

“It doesn’t seem to be fair that we are so near the city centre and there’s no restricted parking. It’s becoming the parking place of choice for many commuters. We are so close to the city centre but people from much further out have restricted parking.”

Ms McLeod said that tradesmen have descried the parking situation as “a nightmare”, while emergency services have struggled to squeeze down narrow streets due to selfish motorists, who have been known to “triple park”.

She added: “We are aware of the proposals to extend the tram to Leith Walk and we are very concerned. We have been overlooked for such a long time. We are a special case. I think because of the proximity to the city centre, to extend the North One (parking permit zone) would be the better option.”

Green Cllr Susan Rae, said: “Given that Leith Walk is the densest ward outside London, it causes serious problems.”

Council officers admitted that “the city has moved on and patterns have changed” while Liberal Democrat Cllr Gillian Gloyer called for a “strategic citywide approach”. She added: “We need a strategy that covers the whole city or we are just moving the problem to the next street along.”

A motion was agreed for a residents’ survey to be carried out to address “ongoing problems of excessive commuter and holiday parking in Corstorphine”.

Convener of the Transport and Environment Committee, Cllr Lesley Macinnes, said: “It is causing some distress as it does in other parts of the city.”

“As this is an issue that also affects other communities across Edinburgh, such as Corstorphine, we have proposed a more holistic approach to review these issues on a citywide basis. This will allow us to better consider the wider impacts that new parking controls may have. We will work with residents in Leith central to investigate more immediate, practical solutions.”