Edinburgh parking: Eyebrows raised as problems in Gorgie compared to Gaza Strip
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Councillors were told Westfield Street has become known by some locals as the “Gorgie Strip” due to a recent increase in “nuisance parking”. Responding to the frustrated resident, transport convener Scott Arthur said it was “probably not the best comparison to make”.
Parking charges were extended into Gorgie last month in a bid to make it easier for residents and their visitors to get a space near to their home. However there are complaints the scheme has had the opposite effect for people living on Westfield Street, which is on the edge of the area’s controlled parking zone (CPZ) and not owned by the council.
Grant Lidster, chair of Westfield Street Residents group said this had created “chaos” by attracting an influx of drivers dodging fees, leaving fewer spaces for motorists who live there. Addressing the transport and environment committee on Thursday, he listed a number of ongoing issues including “double and triple parking”, cars blocking bins and waste unable to be collected.
He added: “Very large haulage trucks need to pass through the street and the safety issue is just an accident waiting to happen. There’s double red, double yellow lines also being used by nuisance parkers. Car swapping goes on: families, mates – they get a space, nuisance parkers are actually swapping spaces.”
He also claimed the council sent out communications which he had seen encouraging people to “park for free in Westfield Street” which Cllr Arthur said he would look into. Mr Lidster said: “It’s now turned into a street of hell. It’s like the Gorgie Strip we call it, rather than the Gaza Strip. It’s the Gaza Strip that gets all the headlines – this is a Gorgie Strip and it’s a similar sort of nightmare hitting the news headlines.”
Cllr Arthur replied: “You compared the situation to Gaza and I think right now that’s probably not the best comparison to make. But I know you didn’t mean any harm by it.”
In response Mr Lidster said he “wasn’t meaning the history” but “the headline that says Gaza Strip”. He added “We’ve got a Gorgie Strip. Nothing in relation to what’s happening in Gaza.”
Sighthill/Gorgie Green councillor Dan Heap has called for the road to be adopted and included in the CPZ after meeting with local residents and the committee agreed a report should come to its January meeting.
Cllr Heap also said the council had “stated to some residents that Westfield Street is an area without parking restrictions” which had exacerbated parking pressures on the street. He warned this could “undermine support” for the wider scheme “to address parking congestion and promote active and public travel”.