New parking charges needed to top up council budget

Monday 2 September 2019

Inverclyde Council is hoping to raise an extra £100,000 a year by introducing parking charges at six town centre car parks.

The cash will be used to soften the impact of funding cuts, which have seen the amount of money Inverclyde gets from the Scottish Government drop by £8million over the last six years.

The new charges will apply to car parks at: Kempock Street East and Kempock Street West in Gourock; Shore Street, Fore Street and Princes Street in Port Glasgow and Lochwinnoch Road in Kilmacolm. A total of 553 parking spaces are affected.

The first three hours parking will still be free. After that drivers will have to pay a £2 fee which will allow them to park for the remainder of the day.

The new charges are expected to come into force in April 2020.

Councillor Michael McCormick, Convener of Inverclyde Council’s Environment & Regeneration Committee, said, “Legally the council has to balance its budget. We aren’t allowed to run an ‘overdraft.’ But in the last six years the amount of money we get from the Scottish Government has fallen by £104 for every man, woman and child in Inverclyde.

“The reason we are introducing these charges is to raise £100,000. Increasingly we are being forced to make these difficult and unpopular decisions. That’s the reality of what we’re facing as a local authority. If local government is to have any hope of operating an investment budget, we need to raise more money.

“There are also solid, practical reasons for introducing parking charges. All of these car parks are within walking distance of their respective town centres. These charges will help increase the turnover of spaces which is a recognised way of improving access to town centre businesses and facilities, supporting the economy and reducing frustration for visitors.”

A system of free, residents’ parking permits will be introduced where the car parks are in residential areas and the residents have no other parking available. Permit holders will be able to park for longer than the time restrictions and park free of charge in pay car parks.

Page last updated: 2 September 2019