Council vows to spread Melrose parking message

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Some motorists have still to get the message that parking in Melrose Abbey car park in winter is no longer free.

The profit-sharing pay-parking regime, run jointly by Scottish Borders Council and Historic Scotland and normally seasonally suspended between the end of October and Easter, is now operating all year round.

Margaret Henderson from Selkirk fell foul of the change last week when discovering a £10 fixed penalty notice had been slapped on her car after a short stay.

“I had no idea they had changed the rules and thought there must have been a mistake,” said Mrs Henderson.

“I only noticed the ticket when I got home. When I phoned the council to complain, I was told similar penalties had been issued to six other motorists last week alone. I was also told the sign at the car park had been adjusted, but it’s a pity there was no-one there to keep motorists right.”

A spokesperson for SBC confirmed: “The parking charges in Melrose Abbey car park are now all year round.

“This followed a request from local businesses who felt that short-term parking spaces were not available due to the use of the car park for long-term parking throughout the winter period.

“The proposals were approved by the Eildon Area Forum at its meeting on August 20 and were advertised in the local press as well as on on-site notices.

“The council’s webpage has now been updated and Facebook and Twitter messages will be issued to further publicise the change for the local community and visitors.”

In agreeing to amend the relevant Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) in August, the area forum heard that no objections or comments had been received.

Councillors heard that the costs of advertising the TRO, along with new signage, was £2,000. The discouragement of long-term parking has also had the support of Melrose Community Council.