Parking charge reduction has no effect on council income

Income from Moray’s council-operated car parks in Elgin has remained unchanged despite several changes introduced in an effort to boost footfall in the city centre.

Income from parking slumped in 2010 when the local authority increased charges – causing a review after just six months with local traders insisting that the higher charges were damaging business.

A survey conducted at the time showed that 91.7% of city centre business owners believed that parking charges had become a deterrent to shoppers.

As a result in December 2011 charges were cut from £1.50 to £1.00 for two-hour parking sessions.

Now local authority officials are recommending that there is no change to parking charges in a report that shows income from Elgin’s 12 car parks was £655,000 in the last year – almost the same as the figure for 2009.

Councillor Graham Leadbitter, who had campaigned for the 2010 parking charge increases to be reversed, said: “Elgin has more than enough parking places and there is never a problem finding somewhere – I believe the balance seems to be about right at the moment.

“We need to raise money for services such as education and refuse collection but at the same time we do not want to discourage people from coming into the town centre.

“Elgin is certainly a much more reasonable place to park than either Inverness or Aberdeen.”

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