Is free parking in Peebles a thing of the past?

The launch of a transport consultation could lead to the 'end of free parking in Peebles' it has emerged.

By Paul Kelly
Saturday, 12th February 2022, 5:49 pm
Parking issues in Peebles.
Parking issues in Peebles.

Members of Peebles Parking Working Group met this week to launch a consultation on parking provision in the town.

There is an effort to unify the parking regimes at the town's car parks - some of which are free and others where fees apply.

The introduction of charging at all the town's car parks is one of the proposals on the consultation agenda.

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That was supported by Councillor Eric Small, who said: "We are looking at ways to finance different things in Peebles, the toilets for instance, opening them up again and the council is reluctant to fund this. This is a way to make it fair for everybody. If everybody pays for parking that money could be used in Peebles to help keep the toilets open and possibly pay somebody to clean them as well.

"We're not looking to make these charges ridiculous, what we're looking at is bringing some money in that can be used for things like the toilets. It's nice to have free parking but you get nothing for nothing."

Committee chair councillor Robin Tatler raised the issue of the potential to charge a £100 a year fee for park and ride spaces .

He said: "I'm fairly sure that people are using the East Station Car Park as effectively a park and ride facility, which is all very good and should be encouraged. We want to encourage people to take public transport rather than go in their car.

"But what I'm suggesting is whether we should consult on a more formal arrangement, so that spaces would be made available in East Station Car Park and also perhaps the Kingsmeadows Car Park and Neidpath (Haylodge) Car Park for park and ride.

"So the idea is that commuters could park and use pubic transport, most likely up to Edinburgh. They would secure those space on a Monday to Friday basis for a nominal fee.

"The other suggestion is there might be some possible spaces in Tesco's as well, but I'm not so sure about that because of the click and collect that is going on there as well."

Community representative Peter Maudsley said: "If we put in 25 spaces for the park and ride I would guess that doesn't impinge on the overall parking because they are probably already taking them up and not paying for them.

"The Kingsmeadow Car Park is free at the moment and comes under the Common Good. In essence you would have to start charging for all the free car parks to make this work."

Members also discussed the development of East Station Car Park as 'the gateway to Peebles' with the development of the former railway shed there as a heritage and visitor centre.

Mr Tatler said: "The suggestion is that we relocate the buses, the 62 and the x90 and any other commercial services, and put them into a terminal, effectively, at East Station Car Park. We need to do consultation on that."

Returning to the issue of charging fees, committee member Scott Watson, added: "I think East Station Car Park is very confusing for people visiting the town. They can't believe that they do not pay for parking. I think it should go in line with the other car parks.

"I'm currently working in Edinburgh and it's costing me £35 a day to park, so what we're proposing is buttons."