Discussions are continuing into the cost of car parking in St Andrews after an anomaly in the amount of time that can be paid for was highlighted at the town’s community council.
There is no option to pay for just half an hour’s parking in South Street, as there is in other main streets in the town centre.
And if that was changed, it would result in a lost of £220,000 in income to Fife Council, according to local Councillor Brian Thomson.
He described the situation as “fundamentally unfair”, adding: “The current situation disadvantages businesses in South Street in particular. Many people wish to park for a short period of time, say 20 minutes, to pop into one or more shops, and if a half hour option is available in certain streets, that must be a factor in which shops some people visit.
”I’ll be looking for a more detailed breakdown of how the revenue figure is calculated, and an examination of all options as to how this anomaly can be tackled.”
John Mitchell, service manager at Fife Council, explained that the half-hour option had been introduced to encourage turnover of parking spaces.
He added that the St Andrews BID (Business Improvement District) had recently proposed extending it across the town.
But Mr Mitchell said: “The Council has highlighted the potential financial implication of the proposal to the BID.
He added: “We are fully supportive of initiatives to encourage town centre vitality and are working with the BID company to explore ways in which support can be provided.”
Rhonda McCrimmon, of the BID, said the organisation had several ideas about parking in the town to encourage footfall in town centre businesses and she confirmed they were under discussion with Fife Council.
“We are working out the best way forward,” she said, “and we will be asking businesses what they think about the parking outside their premises and asking them how they would like to see the issue move forward.”
Town parking was a key element of the business plan developed for the BID by its steering group, intent of provide better parking in the town for other locals and visitors.
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