People will be asked to have their say and help shape the future of parking in Angus.
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in, what will be by March 2021, a near year-long suspension in off-street parking charges.
The impact of coronavirus on our towns and villages, as well as the affect it has had on everyone’s way of life, presents a chance to look closely at how parking in Angus best suits everyone’s needs.
A comprehensive review of parking in Angus, carried out by a Member Officer Working Group, will include a meaningful conversation with communities about free and paid for parking.
This will take the form of focus groups and, most importantly, a public consultation that will present everyone – residents, retailers, businesses and visitors alike, with an opportunity to have their say.
Angus Council, Communities Convener, Mark Salmond, said: “This will be a robust review of both on and off-street parking in Angus.
“A short time before the coronavirus outbreak, I reported on the significant income stream that our off-street parking charges had provided. But this virus has proved to be a game changer in so many ways.
“We bagged all of our off-street parking meters when lockdown was imposed. Realising then that the way ahead would be unpredictable, we made assurances that we would assess the impact that the virus would have on our communities and importantly our local retailers.
“We are still in a position today where none of us can accurately state what the economic effects of Covid-19 will be, or how long the virus will influence our everyday lives. We do know that its impact is far-reaching and will continue to be so. The road ahead will be challenging to say the least.
“That is why Angus Council must continue to support our communities through this crisis by all means deemed necessary and achievable. One of the ways that we can begin do this is to review our parking provision and restrictions.
“We are being given a chance to push the reset button on parking in Angus and fully establish how it can best serve our communities in the future.
“All options will be considered in looking at on and off-street parking, free and paid for parking, parking restrictions, including waiting times, and parking permits. This is not simply a matter of free parking versus paying to park.
“It will be a focused exercise, but it cannot ignore those economic challenges that endure and others that lie in wait, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, or indeed the implications and opportunities for the future of our high streets, climate change and green travel.”
A programme of focus groups – inviting views and opinions from business and community groups and local representatives – is being drawn up and this will inform a wider public consultation which will go live in November 2020 with more information to follow soon.