Voluntary parking charges pilot scheme on the agenda in Innerleithen

Tap and pay machine for Tweeddale town.
Councillor Robin Tatler.Councillor Robin Tatler.
Councillor Robin Tatler.

A voluntary parking charge pilot scheme for Innerleithen is on the agenda, it has emerged.

It is being proposed that a tap and pay scheme is introduced where car parking is currently free.

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The move is seen as a way that visitors to the town, among them mountain bikers, can help enhance community facilities with a voluntary payment to an amount of their own choice.

News of the pilot scheme was raised at a recent meeting of Peebles Parking Working Group.

Following public consultation the group decided to make no change to the town’s car parking payment regime.

It means that parking at the Kingsmeadows Car Park is to remain free of charge.

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Phillipa Gilhooly, SBC’s team leader for traffic and road safety management, raised the issue of voluntary payments.

She said: “There were polarising views on whether we should be charging for parking and I wondered as a form of compromise we could consider voluntary parking charges which have been introduced in some communities elsewhere.

“Maybe Kingsmeadows would be worth considering for this. So somebody would come to Kingsmeadows and there would be a QR code with a sign saying ‘welcome to Peebles’. It would make clear that the parking in the car park is free. However, it would explain that if they wanted to contribute to providing some community benefits, they could.”

Councillor Robin Tatler said: “Myself and the other councillors in Tweeddale East are proposing a pilot scheme in Innerleithen at the moment which will do just that.

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“It would be effectively tap and pay machines, on exactly that basis, that these facilities are free but if you want to contribute to supporting facilities in the town, you can.

“As you know Innerleithen has a huge number of visitors, predominantly mountain bikers. Perhaps we could see how the one at Innerleithen goes and then we might consider something like that in Peebles.”

Fellow ward councillor Julie Pirone concurred, adding: “I would agree with that. To see what it is like in Innerleithen and then maybe come back with a proposal, because we do get lots of visitors and they may want to contribute to the wonderful town that we have.”

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