THE CHAIR OF the council committee responsible for pressing ahead with increased and new car parking charges in Moray has defended the action.
Only a slight concession, lowering the proposed £5 new charge per day for parking at Elgin Rail Station to £2, was made before the proposals were passed on Tuesday.
The measures are aimed at increasing the use of car parks such as Batchen Lane multi-storey, where parking is proposed to be £1 per day, and to distribute parking more effectively across Elgin’s car parks.
Councillor John Cowe said that there remained an abundance of parking in Elgin with 1500 spaces available in off-street parking and a further 3000 in on-street parking.
Defending the decision he said: “We’re trying to strike a balance between raising income through our car parks and incentivising drivers to park in under-utilised car parks.
“We’ve endorsed two of the largest car parks in Elgin – Batchen Lane and Lossie Green – being available for drivers to park in for just £1 per day.
“We’re also recommending that users of the railway station car park pay £2 per day, which is a significant reduction from the £5 originally suggested.”
The changes will not be made immediately however, as the proposals still have several steps to negotiate, Councillor Cowe saying: “It’s also important to bear in mind that the proposals have still to be considered by the Policy and Resources Committee, and after that there will be a further public consultation before any changes can take effect. That process will take at least three months to complete.”