Argyll and Bute councillors welcome parking permit plan

Councillors are this week set to decide upon the proposals to introduce weekly and monthly parking permits.
Councillors are this week set to decide upon the proposals to introduce weekly and monthly parking permits.

Councillors have welcomed plans to introduce weekly and monthly parking permits in Argyll and Bute.

The changes were discussed at last week’s meeting of the council’s policy and resources committee.

Currently permits lasting for a year, or nine, six or three months, are made available in the area. It is proposed that the addition of permits lasting one month and one week will be piloted in Oban, Lorn and the Isles for a year before being rolled out across the entire council area.

The proposals, which also include the ability to pay by direct debit, are set to go before the full meeting of Argyll and Bute Council tomorrow(Thursday, February 21).

Oban North and Lorn Councillor Elaine Robertson said: “I really welcome this paper. The ability to pay weekly and monthly fits in for people who are visiting the area.

“Paying by direct debit will also make it much easier and I have already had positive feedback on this proposal from tourism bodies in the town.”

Council leader Aileen Morton (Helensburgh Central) said: “If this is endorsed then there will need to be substantial work to promote it. My understanding is that people do want these methods, and if it proves to be successful during any pilot it will be revisited for the whole area.”

Councillor Rory Colville (South Kintyre) also asked at the meeting whether there might be problems for motorists who have already paid if a car park is full. Pippa Milne, the council’s executive director for development and infrastructure, said: “It is a good point. Drivers currently have the opportunity to pay by mobile phone or app with a scheme we currently operate called PaySmarti, which is available for daily charges. It is something which we hope will get more uptake in the future.

“As Councillor Colville said, car parks being full is something that we highlighted with colleagues in IT – the ability to use sensors to determine how many spaces are available. That could give us something to provide information on car parking, but we are not there yet. We are trying to make sure we are ready for it.”

On the proposals for new parking permits themselves, Ms Milne added: “These are being based on feedback we have had from committees and visitors on parking arrangements.

“Most of these have come from the Oban area, where it was suggested we pilot the scheme.

“Should these plans be approved, they will be considered by the council as part of the budget process.”