Suspend West End car parking charges! #dundeewestend

I have been contacted by numerous residents in the West End who use the seven cars parks that recently had car park charges imposed for the first time – charges I have strongly opposed.
 
The residents have pointed out that, as the advice is to work from home where possible during the COVID-19 health emergency, it seems perverse to charge people to park near their homes when the council has suspended car parking charges in several car parks in the city centre.    
 
The city centre decision is very helpful – to assist key workers – but I am adament that the suspension of parking charges must also apply to people working from home as they are following the advice to do so.
 
If Angus Council can do this for its car parks, so can Dundee City Council for the seven West End car parks.
 
I have requested that City Development at the council do this ASAP.    The Director of City Development and the leader of the council is aware of this request.
 
I will keep residents updated.

Bad news on West End car parking #dundeewestend

Residents will recall that, just before Christmas, I again reiterated my strong opposition to the council administration’s policy of introducing car parking charges into seven West End car parks.
 
The effect will be particularly difficult for residents and add to on-street car parking in the area.
 
I received the following update late yesterday from the council’s Parking and Sustainable Transport Team Leader :
 
“We expect the new car parking charges in the seven West End car parks to be introduced on Monday, 27 January 2020.   In advance, we will advertise the change by way of signage and press releases from early next week.   Meters have already been installed at most of the car parks and these will be commissioned on 23/24 January 2020.  New tariff charge boards will be erected over the weekend of 25/26 January 2020.  
 
New lighting is being installed by the Street Lighting Partnership in Roseangle Car Park during week commencing 20 January 2020.  For a few days this car park will be closed to create a safe working environment.  This closure will also be advertised in advance.”
 
The effect of these charges will be highly detrimental and, even at this late stage, I would urge the council administration to think again about introducing them.

Footway parking and double parking – a consultation

The Scottish Government’s consultation on footway parking and double parking closes on Friday.   The consultation document can be downloaded here.
 
As the issue of parking on pavements and across dropped kerbing is a subject of many constituent complaints, I have already submitted a response.
 
It takes only a few minutes to do so and I would urge any West End resident with views on this to submit a response – you can do this here.

I raised this matter at the council’s City Development Committee last night.   It was suggested that the consultation may be being extended to 31st August.   However, as the Scottish Government website still indicates a 30th June deadline, I would urge people wishing to respond to do so as soon as possible.

Improving parking for the West End – some progress

Residents will recall that, last March, I attempted to get Dundee City Council to undertake a new consultation with residents and local businesses on ways to improve West End parking.    My motion then attracted 12 votes but I was outvoted by 15 SNP and Conservative councillors so nothing has been done since to tackle this vital issue. 
 
Last night, at the City Development Committee, I revisited the issue and proposed the following new motion :
 
“Committee notes with concern that, following the consultation exercise in 2012 in part of the West End Ward relative to a possible residents’ parking scheme, the parking situation for residents and local businesses in the area concerned has worsened.
 
Committee therefore instructs the Executive Director of City Development to undertake a further informal consultation with community groups including West End Community Council, local residents, the business community and other stakeholders such as the University of Dundee, to ascertain views as to measures that may have public support for possible future introduction.    
 
The outcomes of this informal consultation should thereafter be reported back to this committee to determine which measures have public support and are viable;  and the potential scope of any residents’ parking scheme or schemes.  
 
Committee also instructs the Executive Director of City Development to undertake this exercise and report back on his findings and recommendations to this committee as soon as staff resources allow.”
 
I am pleased to say that, after an excellent deputation by two community representatives – Peter Menzies and Elaine Kuwahara – speaking in a personal capacity – and debate at committee, it was agreed that the possibility of progressing this through the Economic Development working group that is working on supporting new initiatives to support the Perth Road district shopping centre.    This will be discussed at its next meeting and, if there is no swift progress, I have reserved by right to take the motion above back to City Development Committee.
 
This is the first positive move by the council to sort the parking situation since the failed 2012 consultation exercise and I am pleased that at last some progress has at least started.   We now need momentum to really tackle and improve the parking situation.

Call to make better use of West Bell Street multi-storey car park

I have called on Dundee City Council to make better use of its half-empty West Bell Street multi-storey car park which I feel could be revitalised if short-stay parking was permitted.    
 
This could also have the beneficial effect of helping ease the on-street parking capacity problems near the University of Dundee Campus and in West Port, South Tay Street, Nethergate and the east end of Perth Road.
 
The council’s Head of Roads and Transportation advised me :

Bell Street multi storey car park is a very large car park with in excess of 900 spaces and currently demand does not require us to regularly open the upper floors and our daytime car park staff do flexibly open and close it if the car park gets busy.  

In terms of providing shorter stay parking, Bell Street multi storey car park is identified as a long stay car park, and the tariffs are so designed to encourage the use of the facility by all day / half day parkers with more flexible tariffs available at other car parks and the on street spaces around the vicinity allow for parking for up to one hour.

I have commented that there is no short term (30 minutes to 2 hour) parking available at the West Bell Street multi-storey car park and the parking situation near the campus would be helped if some short term facility was provided here.   
 
I think the council has to think imaginatively about the way this half-empty car park can be improved.    With the introduction of short-term parking here, it would assist ease parking difficulties in the surrounding area particularly in the West Port/South Tay Street areas of the West End Ward.
 
The council’s Parking Team Leader has agreed to discuss this further which is helpful as an urgent improvement is needed.

Glenagnes Street council lock-ups demolition – creation of new parking area

Further to the recent demolition of the former council lock-ups in Glenagnes Street (see right), I asked the City Council when the area will be completed to create parking spaces and to erect the promised fencing between the area and the flats in Blackness Road to the south.
 
I have been advised as follows :
 
“Tayside Contracts has inspected the formation at Glenagnes Street.    They have scheduled to commence making good for a parking surface week commencing 18 April 2016. 
 
This includes removing the double yellow lines from the south carriageway which otherwise would see residents ticketed. 
 
Fencing should be around a similar timeline.”