BID behind move to provide free Elgin parking after 3pm

Free Parking?

Elgin shoppers look set to be provided with free parking for a trial period this summer in the multi-story car park at Batchen Lane.

Members of Moray Council’s economic development and infrastructure committee will today be asked to approve a six-month trial that would allow free parking in the facility from 3pm each day.

The plan is a result of a request from Gill Neil, the manager of the Elgin BID, who approached Moray Council seeking consideration of limited free parking at all pay and display car parks in the town.

That came on the back of evidence that a similar plan in Falkirk had increased footfall as well as being found to be “convenient and helpful” by retailers and shoppers in a subsequent survey.

Falkirk Council were consulted by Moray’s Transportation Support Officer who was told that the 15-month trial there had proven popular with Falkirk BID and the economic development section of the local authority.

In his report to the committee today, Stephen Cooper, head of Direct Services at Moray Council, says that the cost of the trial would be kept at a minimum with the greatest expense being changes to ticket machine software at around £400.

He adds: “Transportation would put up signs in the car park(s) advertising the scheme, but the machines would still be operational, with amended pricing inserts, and no amendment would be done to the Car Park Order.

“Elgin BID would encourage the business community to advertise the scheme in their premises.”

Councillors are advised that the Batchen Lane car park is currently under utilised, with Mr Cooper commenting: “The proposal provides an opportunity to test the relationship between car park charges and footfall within Elgin BID area at minimum cost to the Council.”

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