Free parking for Christmas returns to the council agenda

St Giles Car Park – Free after Three

PARKING IN ELGIN is expected to be placed back on the Moray Council agenda this morning (Tuesday) when a local councillor will attempt to have a current six-month trial extended.

The limited free parking trial at two of the town’s main car parks is currently in the middle of its six-month test run and is due to end at the beginning of December.

That, however, would be wrong according to Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor Douglas Ross, who fought hard to have the trial extended beyond its intended availability from just a single car park.

The trial run allows people to park free of charge from 3pm to 6pm daily at the Batchen Lane and St Giles Centre car parks. It stemmed from representations by the Elgin BID, who believed that the town’s parking charges were hindering people using the town centre when free parking was available elsewhere.

Councillor Ross argued that the free parking trial should have been introduced to all car parks in Elgin – and in any case insists that ending the trial in December, just before the Christmas holidays, did not made sense.

Now he aims to raise the issue at a meeting of the economic development and infrastructure committee this morning. He said: “I think we should be asking for other methods to encourage shoppers to come in and use the city centre, and I agree with concerns that ending the trial at the beginning of December is not a good idea.

“Extending it for one month until after the festive period makes perfect sense.”

A feedback report on the trial is expected to be submitted by Elgin BID at the end of the current trial – however, general comments from local shop owners does not indicate that the free parking has led to a significant increase in business.