New parking charges in St Andrews have been unanimously condemned by St Andrews’ community councillors amid claims that the town is being “wrecked”.
Councillors claimed that the changes – a 10 per cent increase in charges and the introduction of Sunday charging – had not been adequately publicised in advance, and agreed to object to the new charges.
The new fee structure came into effect late last month and sees the hourly parking charge rise to £1.10, with new Sunday parking charges introduced.
Community councillor Penny Uprichard echoed earlier warnings from traders that: “This will seriously affect small businesses,” but she reminded the council that church goers in the town would also be affected.
“I spoke to three businesses in South Street today,” Miss Uprichard told the meeting, “and they are all in despair about what is happening. They think the town is being wrecked – and I can’t disagree with them.”
Council member Izzy Corbin looked to Glenrothes, where Fife Council, which has imposed the new parking charges, is based: “In Glenrothes very little parking is charged for,” she said.
“I think they [the council] should begin at home – I find it very difficult that we are getting hammered at every turn.”
Parking tariffs have been frozen since 2011 levels to encourage people to visit town centres.
Following Fife Council’s decision to increase charges, Cllr Pat Callaghan, the council’s spokesman for Environment and Transportation, said that increased costs in managing car parks meant that a price increase was necessary.
“Unfortunately, we are in a position where we need to save around £91m over the next three years and as a result tough budgetary decisions must be made,” he said.