Edinburgh parking zones: Restrictions and parking permits approved for new areas including Leith and Gorgie

New controlled parking zones are to go ahead in key areas of the Capital despite objections from residents who will now have to pay to park in their street.

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The council's transport committee approved the new zones in Abbeyhill; Leith Walk and Pilrig; Leith and North Leith; Shandon; and Gorgie and Gorgie North. The new restrictions are expected to come into force in the different areas towards the end of this year or the beginning of next.

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Liberal Democrats and Conservatives called for the CPZs not to go ahead in two of the areas – Leith and North Leith; and Gorgie and Gorgie North – because of the opposition from residents.

Lib Dem transport spokeswoman Sanne Dijkstra-Downie said new controls should only be introduced where there were obvious issues and there was clear support in communities for the restrictions.

She said: "This council has always maintained that the CPZs are there to alleviate parking pressures for residents. Where pressures truly exist and residents support these measures, we agree they should be implemented but where there is no need they shouldn't.”

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She also said residents in Abbeyhill had specific concerns about their area and although she supported the CPZ going ahead, she wanted residents to be asked their views again once the measures had been in force for a while.

The Tories pointed out the consultation on CPZs in January 2021 found only 25 per cent of residents in Gorgie felt they faced issues of parking in the area, only 38 per cent in Gorgie North, 39 per cent in North Leith and 46 per cent in Leith, and overall residents did not agree with controlled parking being implemented in these areas.

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Many residents opposed the CPZ plans, saying there was no daytime parking problem in their area.

Comments in the consultation from Leith and North Leith included: "There is no commuter parking pressure in our area to be addressed" and “There have never been any issues with residents and visitors parking – i.e. there is enough room for everyone”.

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Another said: "You are targeting an area of multiple deprivation by expecting people to pay to park."

And in Gorgie and Gorgie North, residents said the only time they had trouble parking was on match days at Tynecastle and Murrayfield, but the new CPZ restrictions would not cover those times. One claimed: “Far from benefitting residents, the proposals would create parking problems where none exist at present.”

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And another wrote: “If a parking zone is to be introduced, then it should be in the evening and at weekends.”

Transport convener Scott Arthur said he had held lengthy meetings with officers about the CPZs, particularly in the Gorgie, Hutchison and Chesser area.

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“What they are saying is that as the scheme is implemented it's going to displace the parking issue form one area to the next and it will be the same elsewhere in the city – what the scheme is doing is anticipating where those problems will occur as it gets introduced.”

He accepted the call for further consultation with residents in Abbeyhill after the scheme there had been in force for 12 months.

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