Edinburgh council urged to call summit over parking chaos as visitors flock to Portobello

Council chiefs are being urged to call a Portobello parking summit to look at what can be done to combat the chaos caused by an influx of car-borne visitors.

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Kate Campbell, SNP councillor for Portobello/Craigmillar, said people were flocking to the beach on hot days and the narrow streets and high-density housing around the prom could not accommodate all the traffic and there were “really terrible” parking issues.

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She said: “When it's sunny and warm we get huge numbers of visitors to the beach. The problem is there are no parking restrictions and a lot of people seem to think they have the right to drive to the beach and they must park within three metres of the prom.

“We've had people blocked into their tenements because people have pavement parked in front of the door so people can't get in or out. We've had lots of double parking on yellow lines so it's very difficult for vehicles to manoeuvre round corners at the end of streets. We've had lorries having to reverse all the way up a street because they can't turn at the turning points, which has safety implications for pedestrians and cyclists coming down to the beach."

Now she has tabled a motion for Thursday’s full council meeting, calling for a workshop of key stakeholders, including ward councillors, the police, council officers, residents and community representatives to look at possible solutions.

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She said King’s Road was badly affected, but also Bath Street and Straiton Place. And she suggested: “Do we need to look at a one-way system or potentially closing some roads with access only for residents? I think we need to look at the options and it needs to be discussed with the community.”

Councillor Campbell said there had recently been a consultation on a Controlled Parking Zone for the area, which had yet to go back to the transport committee, but she pointed out CPZs normally operated Monday to Friday while the worst parking pressures in Portobello were on sunny Saturdays, so a variation might need to be considered.

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Sun-seekers are causing parking chaos in Portobello's narrow streets. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.

"I want to get council officers and experts and the community together to discus all these issues and come up with a sensible proposal.

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"When we have so many visitors coming to the beach we can't sustain everybody driving – we need people who can to get the bus or walk or cycle so the people who do need to drive to the beach, people with mobility issues for example, are able to do so.”

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