Changes to car parking tariffs
In January 2019 changes to car parking tariffs were discussed by the Full Council, where local councillors had a full and wide ranging debate on the issues. It was agreed that proposed tariffs would be included as a Schedule to go out with an Aberdeenshire wide Off-Street Parking Order for Statutory and Public Consultation. The new Off-Street Parking Order will also have material changes to the terms and conditions of off-street parking.
The Statutory consultation was undertaken from 11th February 2019 to 13th March 2019. The Public consultation took place from 25th March to 15th April 2019, to allow communities to feedback on the proposed change before a final decision is made.
All objections and responses were reported to Infrastructure Services Committee on 20th June 2019 and committee recommendations were approved. The Aberdeenshire Council (Off-Street Parking) Order 2019, takes effect from 01st September 2019.
Why we apply charges
Aberdeenshire has more than 100 car parks with more than 4,000 parking spaces and charges only apply in 24 of these car parks. Costs to the council include business rates, repairs and maintenance, staffing and enforcement costs.
There is a growing deficit in the car parks budget which has built up since the introduction of free parking in 2014, as car parks are currently not covering their own costs. It costs £48,000 a month to run car parks in Aberdeenshire, with income around £33,000 a month. The projected loss for 2019 is £211,000.
Almost 75% of parking spaces are free despite the fact that the council needs to cover the cost of business rates and employ full time car park operatives. Unfortunately, the introduction of free parking and these running costs have, resulted in a loss of £145,000 per year since 2014. That’s why the council has had to review the parking strategy to provide fair and more accessible parking for all.
The council recognises the concerns of local businesses, but it has a responsibility to tackle the growing deficit. Otherwise, this would have to be paid through cuts to other council services such as education or social work. As a general principle, services should cover their own costs, therefore the council has come up with a proposal to balance the budget.
The revised charges introduced on 1st September in pay and display car parks are:
- Up to 1 hour - 50 pence
- Up to 2 hours - £1
- Up to 5 hours - £3
- Up to 9 hours - £5
Any surplus generated will be reinvested firstly in the parking service, followed by other transport related projects.
There are other measures included in the package:
- contactless card payment at payment machines (with the intention of looking at Inverurie and Peterhead first)
- incentive scheme linking car parking to the use of local businesses
- same cost to pay by coins, card or RingGo, 10p convenience charge applied by RingGo is incorporated in the charges
- charges ending at 5pm rather than 6pm as in most towns
With this proposal, about 75% of all available off-street parking spaces will continue to be free. On-street parking in Aberdeenshire has always been free and will continue to be free.
Why we apply charges