Edinburgh parking charges: Price to park in Edinburgh to increase by 20 per cent

Edinburgh’s finance committee backs big rise in cost of parking
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Parking charges in Edinburgh are set to increase by 20 per cent from next week.

The cost of leaving a car in some city-centre streets will jump by as much as £1.10 per hour. And the money raised will be used to freeze some costs to residents, including those for adult burial charges and day care for the elderly and disabled. SNP and Green councillors – who proposed the 20 per cent increase against a 16 per cent rise tabled by the minority Labour administration – said the move would help to “alleviate the impact of poverty and reflect the true cost of driving in our city”.

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However the city’s transport leader warned that the rise may not actually raise as much income as predicted – as it could deter people from parking in the city – and admitted Edinburgh was “hooked” on parking incoming. The changes to parking charges will take effect from Monday April 3 after they were approved by the council’s finance committee on Thusday.

Parking charges in some city-centre streets will go up by £1.10 per hour. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.Parking charges in some city-centre streets will go up by £1.10 per hour. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.
Parking charges in some city-centre streets will go up by £1.10 per hour. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.

The cost of parking in the city centre – George Street, St Andrew Square, Charlotte Square, Queen Street, Market Street, Cockburn Street – will be lifted from £5.60 per hour to £6.70. In the Stafford Street and Melville Street area, Morrison Street to Shandwick Place and the Old Town, including East Market Street, the rate will increase from £4.90 to £5.90.

In the West End (Palmerston Place area), Moray Place, South Side/Nicholson Street, Tollcross/Fountainbridge and Heriot Row, hourly parking fees rise from £4.10 to £4.90. And in the New Town – Northumberland Street to St Stephen Street and Royal Crescent – motorists will have to pay a new rate of £4.40 an hour, up from £3.70.

South Queensferry will also have charges hiked by 20 per cent, jumping from £0.90 to £1.10. Meanwhile in Bruntsfield, Sciennes, St Leonard’s, Dumbiedykes, Stockbridge and Dean, on-street parking charges will go up from £3.10 to £3.40 – a lower increase of 9.68 per cent. And the cost of parking permits for residents will increase by between 11 and 15 per cent.

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The parking charge increases are expected to generate £800,000 on top of the estimated £1.19m going to the council’s coffers from revised fees and charges. The additional cash will be used to freeze rates for services including adult burials, garden aid and day care for the elderly and adults with learning or physical disabilities.

Extra income generated from parking will also halt price increases for audio and film rentals and photocopying in libraries, as well as the community alarms and telecare service which gives vulnerable residents quick access to social care support. In addition, a library fine “amnesty period” will be created with £71,000 to “dismantle potential barriers to continued access for adults and children” and £100,000 will go towards a fund for “community-led cultural projects”.

The SNP’s Lesley Macinnes said the 20 per cent increase in parking charges would allow the council to tackle cost-of-living pressures by freezing other charges. And Green finance spokeswoman Alys Mumford said the hike would help reduce car use, improve air quality and reduce the climate impact. But Labour’s finance convener Mandy Watt “When you put in massive parking charges, what you are effectively doing is saying only very well off people should be able to have and use cars.”

Transport and environment convener Councillor Scott Arthur took to Twitter after the decision, saying: “Any rise in parking charges will reduce the level of use (not always a bad thing). The SNP/Greens are hoping that whilst demand will fall, total income will rise. I think they got this wrong. Labour estimated the limit was 16 per cent, and beyond that income would start to fall… and Edinburgh is hooked on parking income. Less demand for on street parking might be a good thing, but the real problem here is that the SNP/Greens may be trying to pay for services with income that does not exist.”