Retail group to be consulted on Peebles car park charging ‘compromise’
A car parking charge ‘compromise’ is to be considered by a retail group in Peebles next week.
Peebles Parking Working Group decided earlier this month there should be no immediate change to the charging regime at the Neidpath, Kingsmeadows, Greenside and Swimming Pool car parks.
But it has recommended that additional charging should be introduced at the centre-of-town Eastgate car park, which is currently free all week apart from a Saturday.
The two options on the table are to charge six days a week, Sunday excluded, or to charge just three days a week.
Whichever option is decided upon the plan is that the funds raised will be ploughed back into improvements in the town for residents and visitors alike.
Next week members of the Peebles Business and Retail Association will be consulted over the two options.
Previously some retailers in the town have made the case for the retention of free parking, one describing it as a “huge bonus” in attracting shoppers.
The charging options will then be put on the online forum, Citizen Space, for consultation before a final decision is made at the next meeting of the parking group in October.
Peebles Parking Working Group member and Tweeddale East ward councillor Julie Pirone proposed the three-day “compromise” option at Eastgate.
She said: “I am in favour of charging, I have no problem with charging, but my view was that it is a step too far for people to go from not very much to the full whack, we need to find something in the middle that makes sure that we have listened to everybody’s views, hence the meeting with the retailers, but which also allows us to bring some extra money into the town to make it nicer for local people and visitors and to make it quite clear that when they pay a charge what it is being used for.”
The Peebles Parking Working Group was set up following a decision in November 2019 by the Tweeddale Area Partnership to carry out a review of off-street parking in the town.
The group met 11 times taking contributions from groups and individuals in Peebles.
In the spring of 2023 parking surveying and face-to-face interviews were carried out on behalf of the group by Streetwise and an online Citizen Space consultation was carried out.
The Kingsmeadows car park is currently free all day, every day, as is the facility at Neidpath.
Meanwhile, the Swimming Pool unit has costs ranging from 50p for up to two hours to £5 for over six hours.
At the Greenside car park people have to pay from Monday to Saturday between 8.30am to 5.30pm, again ranging from 50p to £5.
It is also recommended that there should be improved signage at entrances (and possibly junctions) in the town, indicating the name, capacity and charging regime for all car parks. Consideration should be given to including information about the availability of public toilets at the Kingsmeadows and East Station car parks.
And for the benefit of residents, there should be a promotional campaign to encourage the purchase of annual car parking passes which are available from Scottish Borders Council for £26 a year.