Councillors discuss car parking charges

Councillors Charles Buchan and Brian Topping at the Dalrymple Hall carpark.
Councillors Charles Buchan and Brian Topping at the Dalrymple Hall carpark.

A series of car parking charge proposals have won the 
support of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee and will now go before another council committee.

The proposals, which were put forward in a motion by 
Councillor Brian Topping and seconded by Councillor Charles Buchan, will now go before members of the Infrastructure Services Committee of Aberdeenshire Council.

The proposals for Fraserburgh town centre include one hour of free car parking, free car parking after 10am on Saturdays, continued free parking at the Dalrymple Hall and special arrangements for the Christmas period.

During the consultation, 14 times as many people took part in the process in Fraserburgh compared to Banff.

Commenting, Councillor Brian Topping said: “Charles and I work very, very closely on matters regarding the Fraserburgh and District ward and I’m glad to say we’ve looked and listened carefully at responses from local businesses and shops.

“I highlighted at the committee that Fraserburgh, like Banff, is a regeneration area and we feel we need some 
dispensation.

“Obviously, we need to do all that we possibly can to get people to come in and use the 
town centre.”

“It would be very populist to suggest that all car parking in Aberdeenshire should be free but we listened very closely to shop keepers and businesses who told us that they didn’t want it to be completely free because they would like a turnover of customers.

“The fear was, from local traders, that local workers and residents would park there all day,” he added.

Councillor Charles Buchan commented: “The idea of the free one hour is to make available prime parking for town centre customers.

“We didn’t want all the prime spaces to be taken up 
by workers.

“I’m very, very pleased that Brian and I were able to build on ideas coming from the business community and 
augment them.”

Councillor Ian Tait said: “This week, the area committee decided what it wanted for parking in Fraserburgh. My proposal was very simple - I proposed that there should be no charges at all for the council’s car parks in Fraserburgh. I wanted the present charges on Saltoun Square and Mid Street car parks to be abolished and certainly I was totally opposed to applying charges to the Dalrymple car park.

Fraserburgh is supposed to be a regeneration town and I want to see as many visitors come here as possible. I believe that if we do not have car parking charges here, it might encourage more people to come whether they are visitors or day trippers from neighbouring areas. Every little bit of extra trade helps our town centre businesses to continue to provide goods and services.”