July 29, 2008

City Eyes Private Parking Space

By Andrew Picken

Roads deal to bring new developments into controlled zone

THEY are already planning to target gas-guzzling cars, now city council officials may take control of Edinburgh's private parking spaces.

City leaders are set to write to residents and give them "the option" of signing over their parking spaces in exchange for the council maintaining and controlling the private roads they sit in.

Residents would then have to buy parking permits for their spaces but would also be allowed to park in the streets surrounding their properties.

The council says it has been contacted by a number of residents' associations across the city with a view to getting their roads adopted by the council after getting fed-up with non-residents parking in their spaces.

Many new and existing developments on private land facing pressure on spaces have been forced to employ parking contractors to ensure the spaces are kept for residents only.

And the situation was confused in a number of areas of the city during the roll-out of the CPZ where spaces previously assumed to be private have been found to be on land adopted by the city council from the original developer.

Councillor Mark McInnes, the city's Tory transport spokesman, said: "Often it is the case that people have bought a flat with a private car park because they want a dedicated space.

"However, I do know there are some developments where the residents are actually in favour of this idea because they are getting swamped by non-residents and can't afford to pay for the private patrols to keep them out.

"Looking forward, I would like to see something in place for new developments so the situation is clear before people buy, but for existing private properties it does need to be left optional for residents."

Scientist Alasdair Smith, 34, lives in a five-year-old housing development off Slateford Road where residents in his street operate their own permit system with a private contractor ticketing those breaking the rules.

He said: "The system is working fine for us.

"Before it went in it was a nightmare trying to get a space, particularly when Hearts were at home. You could see people parking here because they knew they wouldn't get caught.

"I don't see why anyone would go for this because they would have to pay the council's parking rates, which could be hundreds of pounds if they bring in this new levy on bigger cars.

"Also, I'm sure the reason why a lot of people bought houses in this development was because it came with a guaranteed parking space and they paid for that in the price."

A spokeswoman for the council said: "This report is still at the proposal stage but has been recommended for approval because the council, as a local authority, has a legal duty to manage the use of the road network."

Originally published by Andrew Picken Transport Reporter.

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