Council’s park and ride charges consultation under fire

Inverkeithing Ferrytoll  park and ride
Inverkeithing Ferrytoll park and ride

Plans to introduce charges at Fife’s park and ride facilities have come under new attack.

Green MSP Mark Ruskell has called for a full consultation into Fife Council’s proposal after it emerged that the public transport working group for the Forth Bridges was not consulted on the plans.

Humza Yousaf, Transport Minister, said the charges were not discussed at the last meeting of the group, which includes local councils, public transport operators and representatives from the Scottish Government.

The group is charged with encouraging more people to use public transport between Fife and Edinburgh.

The Transport Minister also said that Fife Council ‘”should be flexible in its approach and monitor the effects of [parking charges]”.

Fife Council is currently consulting on plans to introduce a daily £1 fee for the park and rides at Halbeath and Ferrytoll.

Mr Ruskell said, “Fife Council assured me that it had discussed the planned parking charges with stakeholders ahead of introducing it in their budget in February, but this clearly wasn’t at the public transport working group.

‘‘What is the purpose of this body if not to scrutinise plans which could have a major impact on the use of public transport across the bridges?’’

Mr Ruskell said he was unhappy with the council’s public consultation.

He said: ‘‘The process being used is the same as if the council wanted to paint a new yellow line somewhere. There are a few flimsy posters up at the Park and Rides and the public only have four weeks to get their views in.

‘‘There is no mention at all of the consultation on either of the Park and Ride websites run by Fife Council. I am concerned that not all users will be aware of the process and will miss out on the chance to comment on something that will impact on their daily routine.’’

The consultation ends on May 10.