Rothesay square set for parking fee changes

Argyll and Bute Council is proposing to introduce free parking - for the first hour at least - in the Guildford Square car park in the centre of Rothesay.
Argyll and Bute Council is proposing to introduce free parking - for the first hour at least - in the Guildford Square car park in the centre of Rothesay.

Parking charges in a Rothesay town centre car park are set to be changed.

Argyll and Bute Council wants to alter an existing traffic regulation order (TRO), in order to allow vehicles to park in Guildford Square for up to an hour without charge.

The proposal - to be considered by the council’s Bute and Cowal area committee on Tuesday, June 4 - is closely linked to the potential sale of a gap site on the Montague Street side of the square to an as-yet-unnamed commercial developer.

A report to the area committee states: “The sale of the gap site at 15-18 Montague Street for redevelopment appears to be conditioned by a requirement to provide free parking for customers to the developed premises.

“Removing car park charges is likely to be entirely self-defeating as it is anticipated the area will fill with commuters who will park all day. It is likely that there will be no significant turnover of parking spaces to allow shoppers to park for shorter periods.

“It is understood that the developer has indicated that they are prepared to accept a one hour free period and then revert to charging.”

The report also recommends the installation of a new machine - though the current one is stated to be “close to the end of its life” - and the imposition of a ‘no return’ period of, say, two hours or longer, to prevent ‘chain parking’.

Bute councillor and area committee member Len Scoullar told The Buteman: “If the move facilitates an improvement of the gap site and provides business with improved access, then I would be happy for the recommendation to go ahead.”