Car parking charges on Sundays will be introduced in Fife – but only from 1pm.
Fife Council’s executive committee today (Tuesday) rejected moves to introduce all-day charges and also calls to keep parking free on Sundays.
Delaying the start time for charges until 1pm means Sunday morning church goers will not be affected.
Half the objections received by the council in relation to introducing charges on Sundays came from churches, church groups or mentioned churches.
All other objections – relating to the impact on businesses, tourism and residents – came from the St Andrews area.
Twenty churches in Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline and St Andrews are within charged parking areas, and 11 of them had objected to all-day parking charges.
Councillor Lesley Laird, depute leader, said: “With Sunday trading now commonplace, demand for parking within our town centres on Sundays is generally like any other day of the week and we need to find ways to manage the demand.
“With the ongoing significant budget challenges facing all local authorities, potentially up to £40 million of cuts this year for Fife, we are one of the few councils that hadn’t already introduced parking charges on Sundays and, as a council, we signed up for this when we approved our budget decisions back in February.
“Parking charges in Fife compare very favourably with neighbouring authorities and in Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy the private car park operators associated with the shopping centres already charge all day on Sundays.
“More broadly, we recognise the challenges all our towns are facing and that different solutions maybe required.
“A good example of this is the parking pilot in Kirkcaldy which was developed by the BID company and Area Committee as a response to the withdrawal of Tesco and more recently BHS from the town centre. It is being funded through a £60,000 contribution from the area committee budget and will run as a pilot for 12 months.
“Discussions have also begun with Dunfermline and St Andrew’s BID companies to look at a range of parking suggestions that they have made and which may be appropriate for future consideration and at their local Area Committees.
Charges at metered on-street and off-street parking places on Sundays after 1pm will be introduced across the region early in the new year.