More parking meters for St Andrews town centre

FIFE Council is proposing to instal more parking meters in St Andrews town centre.

The local authority’s transportation services has lodged individual planning applications to relocate three existing meters and instal four supplementary pay and display machines in the central shopping area.

When the present £1.5 million upgrading of Market Street is complete later this year it will see the end of all charged parking on the north side of the thoroughfare and, as a result, three ticket machines will be permanently removed.

A spokesman for the council said,”It is recognised that, at certain locations within the town centre, the walking distance to the nearest ticket machine can be excessive. Therefore, in order to make the parking meters more accessible, transportation services propose to relocate the three redundant machines from Market Street and instal four additional machines, all at new sites.

“This will result in a net increase of four machines, raising the total number from the current 28 to 32.”

The required pay and display meters will be sourced from two currently in stock from the initial 2008 purchase, while three will be re-used from Market Street, and two new machines will be purchased at an approximate cost of £6000.

The new machines will be to the same specification and colour as the existing ones and three will be installed in South Street and one each in Queen’s Gardens, Greyfriars Garden, North Street and St Mary’s Place.

In consultation with the authority’s development management, it has been agreed that seven separate planning applications should be submitted for each of the proposed machine locations.

It has been deemed more appropriate than a single application as the refusal of a single location would require the rejection of all other sites regardless of whether they were acceptable to councillors.

In September of 2008, amid a storm of protest, 28 solar-powered parking meters were installed in St Andrews town centre to replace the previous voucher system at a cost of around £110,000.

Controversy had dogged the project, with objectors concerned the machines would clutter the town’s streets, while local businesses also feared they would be inundated with people seeking change for the system and one local resident even mounted a legal challenge against their introduction.

Penny Uprichard sought a judicial review of the decision at the Court of Session, claiming the meters clashed with the historic town’s architecture and unique character and said the application should have been referred to Scottish Ministers.

However, her legal challenge failed after the judge, Lord Brailsford, ruled the council had acted properly and said there were no grounds for a judicial review.

Fife Council originally proposed 38 meters, but this was scaled down to 28 smaller machines by the time planning permission was granted by a majority at a meeting of the council’s north east Fife area development committee in May of 2008.