Friday, 4 April 2014

Council unveils car park strategy

North Ayrshire Council’s SNP Cabinet has agreed that free car parking should remain a priority in local towns.

The Council has produced a new strategy on car parking following an extensive study carried out across the district, including an online questionnaire and street surveys. A report discussed by SNP councillors at last week’s Cabinet meeting highlighted the need for additional parking areas, while also stressing the requirement to promote the use of trains, buses and cycles.

One proposal will see the erection of more effective roadside signs indicating the exact location of car parks, with others listing the number of available spaces. A Council spokesperson said, “The aim is to re-balance car park use so that motorists will be directed to facilities more suited to their needs, either as local residents travelling into town or visitors stopping off on their way through. It is also proposed that the Council will work in partnership with the Police to address serious cases of illegal parking and non-compliance with waiting restrictions.”

Proposals agreed by the SNP Cabinet include a programme of ensuring car parks are well-maintained and fit for purpose, improvements to pedestrian routes between car parks and key destinations, safety and security upgrades around car parks with the possibility of CCTV installation, short-stay controls introduced in busier car parks to increase turnover of spaces, better visitor information made available online so that travellers can pre-plan journeys, car park layouts reviewed to increase spaces, and on-street ‘no waiting’ areas to be evaluated with restrictions removed where they are no longer appropriate.

The Council’s SNP Cabinet member for Environment and Infrastructure, Cllr Tony Gurney, said, “This is a thorough report that addresses the problems faced by all towns in Scotland because of the ever-increasing use of cars.

“It is reassuring to see that the information came from evidence-based studies in which the public in each location were asked to comment. Many people think the answer to car parking problems in towns is to create more car parks. We already have a wealth of car parks in North Ayrshire but this report shows that these areas could be better laid-out with improved signposting.”

Cllr Gurney, who represents Ardrossan & Arran, said the SNP administration will also “work towards the promotion of other kinds of travel” including the development of public transport options.

Council officials are to undertake a further public consultation exercise over the summer to feed into the overall ongoing strategy on car parking in North Ayrshire.

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