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3 October 2019

Stevenson: Legitimate Concerns over Car Park Charges Should be Listened to, not Dismissed

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has expressed his disappointment at the response from Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services chairman, Cllr Peter Argyle (Lib Dem: Aboyne, Upper Deeside & Donside) to calls for a review of free parking spaces in Peterhead.
The free periods were abolished by the Conservative-Lib Dem administration despite costed proposals from SNP councillors which would have seen the car parks breaking even but retaining a half-hour free period.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“This is a dismissive and negative response from the Chairman of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, particularly as I commended the council on its efforts through the regeneration partnership, which I know does good work, alongside Rediscover Peterhead.

“Cllr Argyle repeats the manta that 75% of all off-street parking spaces are free of charge, but again ignores the fact that in Peterhead that is simply not the case and the town has a disproportionate share of chargeable spaces. In fact, free spaces in the town’s car parks account for only 36% of the total available.

“I’ve previously asked for a review to take place, which the council has accepted and will happen next year. What I was asking for here was a review of the distribution of free spaces in Peterhead, particularly as most of the free spaces are not convenient for the main shopping areas.

“I don’t believe that is an unreasonable request and will continue to support that, especially now that we have businesses in other Aberdeenshire towns who have had a dramatic drop in footfall and are now offering to cover the cost of customers’ parking fees.

“I also don’t believe anyone has a problem with the council seeking to not make a loss on the running of its car parks but that should not exclude listening to the legitimate worries of businesses and others and taking on board these valid concerns. Cllr Argyle’s approach is disappointing in that regard.”

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