Long-term strategy could help fix St Andrews’ parking problem

Parking in South Street.
Parking in South Street.

A new town leadership group should be formed to help put together a long-term strategy to tackle St Andrews’ parking problem.

That is the recommendation which has been put forward by Playfair Consultancy Group, which conducted a survey into the possibility of pedestrianising Market Street.

At a meeting of the Royal Burgh of St Andrews Community Council this week, the group explained that, while the report suggested the scheme not be pursued at this time, residents in the town indicated that parking provision was a problem.

The report states: ‘If St Andrews is to continue its success, it requires some form of long-term overarching strategy, encompassing the town as a whole, rather than the current piecemeal, isolationist approach’.

Representatives from the group explained at the meeting that a long-term strategy should take into account population growth due to residential developments – such as St Andrews West – and university growth.

The report also suggested that until a strategy determining how the transportation situation in the town can be improved is developed, alternative minor improvements, such as removing A-boards, re-angling car parking spaces and stricter policing of parking regulation could be pursued.

Councillor Brian Thomson said developing a long-term strategy was “something that’s worth considering”.

“My personal view is that we should be trying to reduce the amount of vehicular traffic in the town centre, and any long-term strategy should focus on edge-of-centre multi-storey parking and a park-and-ride facility – albeit there is clearly no public funding for such facilities in the current economic climate – and encouraging St Andrews residents to not make unnecessary journeys by car,” he said.

Cllr Jane Ann Liston said she thought a long-term strategy would be a “good idea”, describing parking in the town as a “premium”. She said a multi-storey car park would be “environmentally disastrous” as well as expensive, and warned angled parking could cause problems for cyclists and pedestrians.

“A long-term strategy with a view to reducing dependence on the car would be sensible, though these are always difficult with political administrations likely to change every five years,” she added. “This has to include a railway which would provide an attractive alternative to the car which buses clearly cannot match.”