Councillors look set to agree Christmas shopping boost for Elgin

Christmas shopping boost with plans to reintroduce 'Free after Three' parking.
Christmas shopping boost with plans to reintroduce ‘Free after Three’ parking.

COUNCILLORS LOOK SET to approve a free parking scheme in Elgin that proved highly successful earlier this year.

Members of the economic development and infrastructure services committee will this morning be asked to approve proposals that would allow limited free parking from November 28 for four weeks.

The plan is to reintroduce the ‘Free after Three’ parking scheme which ran for a trial period up until January this year. A review of that scheme had previously been discussed by the committee in March, however it was decided then not to continue with the scheme but instead incorporate it into a car parking review.

That is still under consideration, but while officials did not believe that the scheme generated sufficient economic benefit to offset the financial impact, it was acknowledged that there had been an increase in the number of people using the car parks.

Now council officers say that they would support the reintroduction of the scheme over Christmas with the support and encouragement of Elgin BID.

The report before councillors this morning says: “This recommendation is not pre-determining the findings of the draft parking strategy which are due to be received by transportation officers in December 2016 and will be reported to Committee in due course.

“Promoting a Free After 3 scheme from 28 November provides an opportunity to add value to the promotion of Elgin as a shopping destination and supports the Elgin Ice Festival. Based on the loss of income figures from the Free After 3 trial in 2015, such a scheme is likely to have a direct financial impact of -£2,500.

“There will also be a cost of approximately £2,000 to re-programme the ticket machines.”