Residents’ parking scheme for the West End – a further update

Residents will recall that I had recently raised with the City Council the need to complete the consultation on a possible residents’ parking scheme for a significant area in the east and north of the West End Ward.

The consultation was abruptly suspended back in March due to the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 health emergency.    As I indicated to council officers, I do not want to see this kicked into the long grass as the parking problems for many residents continue.

The council’s Parking and Sustainable Transport Team Leader has now updated councillors as follows :

“The report on the proposed extension of a residents’ parking scheme came before the City Development committee on 9 March 2020 and officers were instructed to conclude the consultation with relevant community groups before bringing back a further options report to the committee. 

The public consultation in the West End was largely completed prior to lockdown with a lot of community feedback collated following two public events held at Blackness Library in March 2020.  Further public engagement events in Maryfield and Coldside wards were unable to take place due to lockdown restrictions.

Council officers from City Development, with support from the Communities Team, expect to recommence the public engagement on resident parking issues in March 2021 or at the earliest possible date after restrictions on public gatherings are lifted.   It is then anticipated that a full options report will be presented to committee later that year.”

Residents’ parking consultation – an update

Residents will recall that the consultation on residents’ parking was abruptly suspended in March shortly after the two consultation meetings, due to the COVID-19 health emergency.    

I have been in touch with the City Council about its position regarding getting the consultation concluded and a residents’ parking scheme introduced.

The Head of Sustainable Transport and Roads has now updated me as follows :

“As you note, there are options to either progress the outstanding consultation online or postpone until physically distancing requirements are relaxed. Engagement with non-digital persons is a concern with the former of these two options. 

Associated with this consideration is the skewing of respondents’ comments if progressed during the current restrictions on the basis of views being influenced by current experiences or circumstances faced which may not be apparent post Covid-19.

For the benefit of engagement, and the timing being during an environment reflective of the future state, I propose to postpone the consultation exercise until after the pandemic which will hopefully be in the first half of 2021.”

This is a disappointing timescale but not really very surprising as driving and parking currently is far from normal and services are extremely challenging due to the health emergency.  

However, I will continue to press for progress as soon as parking behaviour returns to more normal times as hopefully the COVID-19 health emergency passes.   

Meantime, I have continually said that parking charges in the seven West End car parks with charges should have remained suspended given the Scottish Government guidance to work from home where possible and I reiterated this to the Head of Sustainable Transport and Roads during the past week.

Free parking in West End of Dundee car parks must be extended #dundeewestend

As reported recently in the Courier (see below), I have called for the City Council to extend its free parking period in Dundee’s West End car parks given that the coronavirus health emergency situation continues.

The council took the sensible decision during the lockdown in the spring to make all its car parks free to use to assist key workers in the city centre and also people working from home in other car parks that charge across the city including in the West End.

However, it now intends to bring back car parking charges into seven West End car parks next Monday – 19th October – at a time when many local workers are still working from home and may well continue to be doing for weeks to come.     

The point about the West End car parks is that they all cover residential areas and so the council is charging people to park near their own homes when they are being encouraged by Scottish Government to work from home.   That is a totally ridiculous situation and contrary to the Scottish Government message to work from home where possible during the health emergency.

I therefore wrote to the Director of City Development at Dundee City Council asking for an extension to take place and received the following reply :

“As you are aware, the original aim of the introduction of charges was, as well as generating income, to prevent abuse of the car-parks by commuters and to promote turnover of spaces to support local shops.

As charges in the rest of the city have been reintroduced, I do not think we could justify further suspension of charges in the West End. We did extend the moratorium on charging until the University started back.

I have reviewed and whilst I understand the issues that you raise, we have a committee remit to introduce charges, and now require to discharge that remit.”

I think at a time when the Scottish Government is trying to encourage people to work from home where it is possible, the City Council charging people for the privilege of parking near their homes in the West End is not responsible and sending the wrong message.    

These are car parks in residential areas and I think that would be a common sense and helpful thing to continue the parking charges moratorium at this time.

Courier article :

Parking charges #dundeewestend

As residents will be aware, the City Council has announced the return of parking charges from next Monday – 13th July.
 
However, I am pleased to say that my plea to officers to not to reintroduce these in the West End from 13th July has paid off.     Car parks in the seven West End car parks that had charges intoduced for the first time in January of this year will continue to be free until the universities return in October.
 
The City Council also advises :
 
“The first phase of charging from July 13 applies to all on-street bays, as well as the surface car parks in the city centre and Broughty Ferry. Limited wait bays will also be enforced from this date.
 
If progress on the route map out of lockdown continues as expected, the gradual roll-out will see charging resume at city centre multi-storey car parks in August. Greenmarket and Gellatly Street will be full price, while Bell Street and Olympia will cost £3-a-day.                                                              
 
Normal pricing is expected to resume at Olympia and Bell Street from mid-September.
 
Finally, the re-introduction of charging at car parks in the West End is planned for October 2020.
 
Up-to-date information throughout the phased return of car-parking charges can be found on the Dundee City Council website.”

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.” 

West End parking improvement proposals rejected

I have tonight criticised the City Council’s administration for its complacent attitude towards tackling parking problems in the West End of the city.
 
At tonight’s City Development Committee, I moved the following 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, during the 2016/17 financial year, to undertake a further consultation with community groups, local residents, the business community and other stakeholders such as the University of Dundee, to ascertain views as to measures short of a parking scheme that covers the whole of the original consultation area, that may have public support for possible future introduction.
 
Committee also instructs the Executive Director of City Development to report back on his findings and recommendations to this committee by 31st March 2017.”
 
My motion attracted 12 votes but I was outvoted by 15 SNP and Conservative councillors who supported “the status quo.”
 
It is highly disappointing that SNP and Conservative Councillors showed such complacency in failing to support further consultation with the community to find ways forward to improve parking in the West End.    I am very unimpressed with their ‘do nothing’ response to my proposal.  It will now clearly need a change of direction after the 2017 council election to ensure the parking issue is properly tackled.    Meantime, I will continue to campaign for parking improvements for the area.
 
Since the failed consultation now some years ago, it is obvious from the level of complaints from residents that the parking situation is getting worse not better and that local people find it increasingly difficult to get parked near their homes.    I therefore feel strongly that the council simply cannot walk away from the problem but must consider some further consultation on revised proposals – for example on a mix of different solutions each covering smaller areas, rather than the ‘wide area’ proposal suggested back in 2012.   
 
There’s a real need to be proactive on the very significant parking problems for residents and businesses in the area.

Complacent attitude over West End parking slammed

As reported in today’s Courier, I have slammed the council’s SNP administration for its wholly inadequate and complacent attitude towards tackling parking problems in the West End.
I recently called for a further consultation with residents over the area’s parking problems and am hugely unimpressed with the council’s ‘do nothing’ response to this.
As residents know, plans were previously put forward back in 2012 for residents to consider a residents’ parking scheme which would have given local residents priority for parking in the area of the West End south of Blackness Road and east of Windsor Street.   

However, with permits being proposed at £80 a year, residents rejected the proposal as the planned West End scheme was 16 times more expensive than the parking scheme in Menzieshill, a price differential I consider unacceptable and discriminatory.
Since the failed consultation now some years ago, it is obvious from the level of complaints from residents that the parking situation is getting worse not better and that local people find it increasingly difficult to get parked near their homes.  
I therefore feel strongly that the council simply cannot walk away from the problem but must consider some further consultation on revised proposals – for example on a mix of different solutions each covering smaller areas, rather than the ‘wide area’ proposal suggested back in 2012.  

Crucially, the council cannot expect to get public support for a parking scheme 16 times more expensive for residents than another council one in the city.   Schemes must be fair and consistent in charging policy.
I raised the matter again with the City Council and the Director of City Development has responded as follows :
“I have consulted with my convener on this issue and our position is that this issue was fully tested through a formal
public consultation on a Residents Parking Scheme for the area, but this was firmly rejected by local residents.    Our resources have therefore moved onto to other priority areas.
“We will of course always try to assist with minor localised adjustments to waiting restrictions through our annual report to committee, but I am unable to revisit the issue of residents parking provision in the West End at this time.”
The SNP administration may well have “moved on” but it has done so having failed to tackle the major parking problems in this part of the West End and I view this complacency as hugely concerning.   
However, if the administration intends to sit on its hands and do nothing to help West End residents, they’ll find I take a different view and I will therefore be bringing the issue to the council’s City Development Committee so the parking problems can be properly debated and discussed and a further consultation given proper consideration.  
It is simply not good enough for the administration to have a ‘do nothing’ approach so I have formally requested a debate on the parking issue is brought before committee as soon as possible.

 

The administration wants to sweep this issue under the carpet but I am unprepared to let that happen.

Review of West End waiting restrictions

Back in 2013, when the proposed West End residents’ parking scheme proposal was rejected, I moved at City Development Committee that, at the very least, the department should review West End waiting restrictions.

 
This would allow the council to see if any yellow lining was now redundant/superfluous to requirements to hopefully free up some additional parking space.    
 
This exercise has now been completed and there are now proposals to do just that in various streets – you can download what is being proposed here.
 
I have been advised by the council that a cost estimate has been requested and, once approved, a Works Order will be made to allow the necessary lining removal to take place.


The Courier covered the waiting restrictions progress in yesterday’s paper and also highlights my view that there is a real need for City Council transportation officers to look at residents’ priority parking again, given the flaws in the previous consultation.


The complacent response from the Convener of City Development to this is extremely disappointing and is a real concern to the very many West End residents who find great difficulty parking near their homes.


This is an issue I will continue to pursue on behalf of local residents in the West End.

Helping attract more Christmas shoppers to Dundee …

I have called on Dundee City Council to consider having two free parking Saturdays in the City Centre’s council-owned car parks in the run-up to Christmas to boost the attractiveness of the city to the wider region for Christmas shopping.    I have also said the City Council should look for additional ways to help promote the city’s district shopping centres such as Perth Road, Broughty Ferry, Blackness Road, Nethergate/South Tay Street/West Port and Lochee in the run-up to Christmas.
 
I contacted the City Council’s Head of Transportation about the Saturday free parking suggestion and received the following response :
 
“This has been looked at in recent years and the fee for parking is not seen as the main attractor or disincentive, more so the availability of modern, safe and accessible facilities and the destination’s attractiveness ie Dundee City Centre is a chosen destination for many people.”
 
While I agree that modern, safe and accessible parking facilities are vitally important, I think the council should be considering some limited free City Centre parking in the run-up to Christmas.  
 
Dundee is already an attractive place for out of town shoppers to do their Christmas shopping and some limited free parking would further help.   
 
Additionally the council should be doing more to help promote the great small businesses in district shopping centres like the West End, Broughty Ferry and Lochee.

Council criticised for lack of progress on parking improvements

I have today criticised the City Council’s lack of progress on a commitment given last year to look at several ways of easing parking problems in the West End short of a residents’ parking scheme, following the rejection of such a scheme by residents in the area south of Blackness Road and east of Windsor Street.
 
It was no surprise that the residents’ parking scheme idea was rejected by the majority of residents as the proposed £80 cost and proposal to charge visitors for parking in the area was a pretty unsellable idea, but I was anxious that something positive comes out of the consultation process and, looking at the consultation returns from residents and local businesses, there were a number of good ideas the council should consider taking forward.
 
At council committee in April 2013, the council unanimously agreed to my suggestion to:

… remit the Director of City Development to undertake a review of all waiting restrictions in the West End area of the City and to report back to the Committee in early course with his views regarding any additional parking space which could be achieved by removing any current waiting restrictions which are no longer appropriate or necessary.

However, it has now emerged that, one year on, the council has made no progress on this review, despite assurances that progress would be made by autumn of last year.
 
The Council’s Head of Transportation has now advised me:
No significant progress has been made in terms of reviewing the wider waiting restrictions on and off street in the West End of Dundee.  Current resources in terms of traffic regulation orders is focussing on new developments and on road safety priorities.  I would advise that there are several area wide reviews outstanding across the City and it is unlikely that any significant progress will be made on these until 2015.
 
We are training more staff to review traffic regulation orders which will allow us to make progress in future years.
I am distinctly unimpressed with the council’s lack of progress, which flies in the face of assurances that had been previously given and I have now called on the City Council to put some momentum behind the committee decision to undertake the review ‘in early course.’
 
Residents rejected the parking scheme but the council should be doing other things to help if it could only put some momentum into the process.   The most obvious one is to look again at the extent of waiting restrictions to see what additional parking space could be safely created.   This is not only about removing yellow paint off some roads where it would be of benefit to residents, but also in some places making some of the current double yellow lines into single yellow would help residents at weekends and in the evening.
 
It agreed to look at this issue street by street in the West End and come up with some recommendations to consult local people with.  It also agreed to look at ways local car parks could operate better.   
 
It is vital that some good comes out of the residents’ parking scheme consultation and that all reasonable steps are taken to help West End residents get their cars parked a little easier so I am calling on the council to now act promptly on the commitment it has already given.

No improved parking facilities at Hunter Street anytime soon

Six years ago, the City Council approved a report to provide a replacement car park in Hunter Street at the edge of the university campus.  As the Planning and Transport Convener of the day, I welcomed this proposal.    
 
The advantages of improved parking facilities on the campus edge are obvious and the facility would also assist residents in the West Port and wider local area, where parking is difficult.   It would also relieve many West End streets from university-related on-street parking.
 
Back in 2012, I criticised the current SNP administration for quietly ditching the commitment to build the multi storey car park (MSCP) at Hunter Street, despite the fact it was a decision of the City Council to build it and the SNP group had welcomed the plans when first proposed.
 
I recently asked the council’s Director of City Development for an update on ‘progress’ and here is his response:
 
“The situation is unchanged from my previous response in October 2012.  While the Olympia MSCP is experiencing a monthly growth in patronage of 8%, currently there is no viable case for a further MSCP at Hunter Street.
 
I do not have a set timescale for reviewing this issue.  Basically we need to see how/if parking patronage bounces back as we come out of the recession, if it does and we have a resultant shortage of off-street parking, then we would see if a new MSCP was viable.”
 
I will be continuing to press for the long-promised improved parking facilities at Hunter Street, although it appears clear that there is currently a lack of momentum on this from the City Council and its SNP administration.

Waiting Restrictions Review in part of the West End Ward

Back in April, I mentioned that I had chaired a residents’ meeting at Pleasance Court at which one of the matters discussed was the proposal by the City Council to review the parking waiting restrictions on streets in the area.
 
This should hopefully free up some additional on-street car parking in the area – including quite a wide area to the east of Pleasance Court towards Lochee Road to the north and Hawkhill to the south.
 
As a preliminary part of the legal procedures to be undertaken to give effect to the proposals, the Council be undertaking public consultation soon and you can download plans of the current situation and the proposals here.

Hope for some West End parking improvements

I have welcomed the commitment by council transportation officials to look at several ways of easing parking problems in the West End short of a residents’ parking scheme, following the rejection of such a scheme by residents last year.
 
Along with my West End councillor colleagues, I met with transportation officials yesterday to look at what steps could be considered to improve parking and ease particular problem sites and a number of possible proposals are to be investigated, with recommendations likely to come forward in the autumn.
 
It was no surprise that the residents’ parking scheme idea was rejected by the majority of residents as the proposed £80 cost and proposal to charge visitors for parking in the area was a pretty unsellable idea, but I am anxious that something positive comes out of the consultation process and, looking at the consultation returns from residents and local businesses, there are a number of good ideas the council should consider taking forward.
 
The most obvious one is to look again at the extent of waiting restrictions to see what additional parking space could be safely created.   This is not only about removing yellow paint off some roads where it would be of benefit to residents, but also in some places making some of the current double yellow lines into single yellow would help residents at weekends and in the evening.
 
Council transportation officials have agreed to look at this issue street by street in the West End over the forthcoming period and come up with some recommendations to consult local people with.  They also agreed to look at ways local car parks could operate better.
 
A number of other aspects were discussed and I am keen to see a minor amendment to the City Centre Parking Scheme to help constituents in parts of West Port and Hawkhill.
 
It is vital that some good comes out of the residents’ parking scheme consultation and that all reasonable steps are taken to help West End residents get their cars parked a little easier and I felt the meeting with transportation officials was positive in that regard.

Still need to tackle West End parking problems as parking scheme proposal rejected

As Dundee City Council publishes its report on residents’ parking in the West End and announces that it will not progress a residents’ parking scheme in the area of the West End that was subject to the parking consultation in autumn 2012, I have made clear that I am unsurprised by the outcome of the consultation as the council had proposed an unworkable scheme that was dead in the water from day one.    You can read the council’s report on the consultation outcomes here.
 
The parking scheme proposed by the council was never likely to command support.   It is an unsellable proposition to expect many West End residents to pay £80 a year to park outside their homes when residents covered by the Menzieshill parking scheme pay only £5 a year.   The failure the address this guaranteed that residents in the West End would reject the proposal, and, to be frank, the proposal to further charge people for their visitors parking in the area was a faintly ridiculous idea.
 
The council must now look for a positive way forward from its failed consultation.    Over 600 people responded and there are many good ideas that residents have suggested.    The council must immediately take steps to undertake a review of waiting restrictions in the area that could free up some additional parking.  
 
The council’s report to next week’s City Development Committee has a “do nothing” feel to it and that is simply not acceptable.    There is a real issue for many people trying to get parked near their homes and the council must look for a positive way forward to help these residents.

A good outcome at Gallagher Retail Park

Last autumn, following a concern raised by a constituent about the need to improve parking arrangements for disabled people at the Gallagher Retail Park, I raised the issue with JP Morgan Asset Management, the retail park owners, who promised to tackle the issue.

All credit to JP Morgan Asset Management – see right.   Drivers with disabilities can now park for up to 4 hours without having to use the ticket machines as long as a Blue Badge is displayed.

A good result.

Parking consultation : Council must act on residents’ views

As the consultation period on the proposed West End parking proposals ended, I spoke on the STV news last Friday evening about the issue.
 
It is vital that Dundee City Council actually listens to the views of the hundred of residents and businesses who have responded to the parking consultation.    I’ll eat my hat if the council’s proposal for a £80 parking permit finds favour in the responses the council has received.   I have spoken with dozens of residents who were critical of the council’s flawed proposal but absolutely nobody who thought the council got the parking scheme proposal right.    However, the parking problems for many residents will remain and it is therefore vital that the council looks carefully at the ideas put forward by residents.
 
The detail of the scheme proposed by the council wasn’t properly thought through and was a dead duck the day it was announced because it failed in three key aspects:
 
a)    Charging West End residents 16 times as much for their permits as Menzieshill residents – totally inequitable and unfair.
b)    Charging West End residents for their visitors’ parking when the Menzieshill scheme allows free visitor parking, albeit for a limited period.
c)    Failure to provide new car parking provision at the University of Dundee campus to ease parking congestion on West End streets – as I have previously highlighted.
 
I have heard some very sensible suggestions from residents that could be taken forward in the areas of parking difficulty even in the council’s flawed £80 permit parking scheme is rejected – these include addition parking provision near the university campus and a review of waiting restrictions at several locations.    
 
The vitally important thing now is that Dundee City Council actually listens to the views expressed in consultation responses.

West End Parking consultation ends today …

The consultation period relative to the proposals for part of the West End ends today.   I am on Radio Tay news this morning about this – click ‘play’ below to listen:
You can still respond to the consultation as long as the City Council receives your comments today.   This can be done electronically.   More details (plus a link to the on-line questionnaire) are available here.

West End residents’ parking proposals – don’t forget to give your views

I have previously updated residents about the public consultation on residents’ parking in part of the West End, in an area that approximately covers west of Marketgait, east of Richmond Court and south of Blackness Road.
 
A reminder that the consultation ends on 21st December and I would encourage all residents in or near the area – or any other resident or local business with views – to give their feedback before the deadline.    
 
You can read full details of the consultation here and you can download the questionnaire at http://tinyurl.com/westendparkingform

Monday activities

This afternoon, after a number of visits to constituents, I attended the public exhibition about the parking proposals for part of the West End.
 
The exhibition was well attended – see right – but what is very clear from speaking with residents at this that they want a proper public meeting at which the plans can be discussed and questions answered.   The council is currently planning no public meeting and at last week’s West End Community Council, I raised this concern.   
The Community Council is therefore inviting the council’s Head of Transportation to its next meeting – this is a public meeting – and I hope he will accept the invitation.    It was impossible in the atmosphere of the exhibition at the library to hear all the points being made and answered.   A proper public meeting is therefore vital.
 
I spoke with the Director of City Development before council committees tonight and stressed this point.
 
After my two Monday ward surgeries at Harris Academy and the Mitchell Street Centre, I attended council committees at the City Chambers.    This evening, the first special Policy and Resources Committee on policing policy and performance took place.    This will become the replacement for the Tayside Police Board when the new single police force across Scotland takes effect next April.
 
I asked questions about performance information being provided at ward level, queried domestic housebreaking levels and provision of home security advice and praised the high level of public satisfaction with the quality of police service across the West End and Lochee (Dundee Section 2).

Parking proposals – exhibition at Blackness Library

I am on Radio Tay news and Wave 102 news this morning urging residents in the part of the West End that is currently subject to parking consultation to turn out today between 3pm and 7pm at Blackness Library to make their voices heard on the council’s proposals for residents’ parking.   You can hear the interview on Wave 102 by clicking “play” below:
Nearly 100 residents have already contacted me directly with their views already – an unprecedented number in such a short time since the proposals were released – and I have urged all of them to respond to the council’s consultation direct to westendresidentsparking@dundeecity.gov.uk or by returning the questionnaire they have been sent by the council.   It is vital that everyone expresses their views as any change in parking arrangements should take place only if it has residents’ support.
 
Without wishing to prejudge the final outcome of the consultation exercise I do have to say that its very clear speaking with the residents who have contacted me that people find it extraordinary that the council is suggesting an £80 charge for West End residents whilst retaining a charge of only £5 for another residents’ scheme in Dundee.    If the council is willing to subsidise a parking scheme in another part of Dundee, it should show equality and do the same across the board.
 
However, cost apart, residents have expressed concerns about other aspects of the council’s proposals.   The proposal of charging for visitors parking have attracted criticism – there are other ways of dealing with visitor parking that many residents feel would work better and we have to remember the need to ensure the ability of shoppers to be able to get parked close to local shops.
 
I cannot stress enough how important it is that residents express their views on this issue, no matter what their views are on the parking issue.    The council must be in listening mode and act on residents’ views and concerns.
 
A questionnaire and maps showing the boundaries of the proposed scheme are on the Dundee City Council website and responses to the consultation by post or email using the form at www.dundeecity.gov.uk should be sent to the City Council by Friday 21st December.

Park and Ride proposals – public exhibition

I have previously updated West End residents on the proposed Park and Ride facility at the land west of Wright Avenue.
 
A public exhibition is taking place on Thursday (8th November) between 2pm and 8pm at Dundee Contemporary Arts in Nethergate in order that all interested residents can view the proposals and make comment.
 
You can read the technical report on the proposal here.