Edinburgh parking charges: increased costs 'all about punishing motorists'
Increased parking charges in the Capital have been condemned as part of an "aggressive anti-car agenda".
Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.
On-street parking costs will be raised by up to seven per cent and the price of parking permits by up to six per cent from April.
The increases were approved as part of the city council's 2022/23 budget passed last week.
But Tory transport spokesman Graham Hutchison said: "This is consistent with the overall approach this administration has taken. It's aggressively anti-car. It's not taking into account the needs of people who require a car to get from A to B.
"It's very difficult to do a weekly shop on your push-bike.
"And people with disabilities are not given any consideration on the administration's agenda.”
He said the increased cost of permits was also "part of the broad anti-car agenda".
"There have been moves to reduce the number of residential parking spaces. It's the same as everything else – people are paying more for less."
On-street parking charges in George Street, St Andrew Square, Charlotte Square, Queen Street, Market Street and Cockburn Street will go up from £5.30 per hour to £5.60, an increase of 5.66 per cent.
In the Stafford Street and Melville Street area, Morrison Street to Shandwick Place and the Old Town, including East Market Street, they will rise from £4.60 per hour to £4.90, a rise of 6.52 per cent.
Charges in the West End (Palmerston Place area), Moray Place, South Side/Nicolson Street, Tollcross/Fountainbridge and Heriot Row will increase from £3.90 per hour to £4.10, up 5.13 per cent.
In the New Town, from Northumberland Street to St Stephen Street and Royal Crescent, they will go from £3.50 per hour to £3.70, an increase of 5.71 per cent.
The rise in Bruntsfield, Sciennes, St Leonard’s, Dumbiedykes, Stockbridge and Dean will be from £2.90 per hour to £3.10, an increase of 6.9 per cent.
And in South Queensferry charges will rise from 80p per hour to 90p, a jump of 12.5 per cent.
The increases in the cost of residential parking permits, which depend on engine size, will range from 2.78 per cent for an under-1000cc vehicle in the central area (zones 1-4) taking the annual cost from £61.20 to £62.90 to 5.93 per cent for a 3000cc-plus vehicle in the central area, taking the annual cost from £547.90 to £580.40.
The higher increases for higher-powered vehicles are designed to discourage worse-polluting cars. And second permits carry a higher cost to deter people from having second vehicles.
Councillor Hutchison said: "It's done under the guise of being environmentally-friendly, but when you look at the administration's approach to electric vehicle charging, which is lagging well behind every other major city, it's just about getting rid of cars. It's not about reducing pollution or anything else – the Low Emission Zone was just a half-baked plan. It’s all about punishing motorists."
Transport convener Lesley Macinnes said parking charges were reviewed every year.
"Any income raised is invested straight back into our transport infrastructure, helping us to improve roads and pavements but also contributing to better pedestrian, cycling and public transport facilities, in turn encouraging visitors and residents to consider alternatives to the car where possible.
“The permit pricing structure also includes an improved banding system based on a vehicle’s emissions. By encouraging residents to consider their choice of vehicle, and the number of vehicles needed for their household, we’re further supporting the city’s net zero targets.”