Councillors welcome parking changes

Local councillors have, this month, welcomed a decision to introduce limited free parking to Fraserburgh’s town centre.

The introduction of free periods of parking to help town centres was one of Aberdeenshire SNP’s manifesto commitments at the last local elections.

Councillor Charles Buchan commented: “The SNP Government has been working hard to boost the local economy by reducing and removing business rates for small businesses, and freezing the council tax to help put more money into the pockets of ordinary working families.

“The council needs to use what powers it has at its disposal to assist small businesses and make our town attractive for shoppers. Allowing a period of free parking is an important part of that. By doing so, I hope that shoppers will be encouraged to use town centre traders.”

“I’m very pleased that this key pledge made by SNP councillors standing for election in 2012 has been fulfilled. We campaigned strongly on this issue and we have worked across party lines with other councillors to support this and make it happen.

“This measure in itself will not make things better overnight, but it is a start and it removes one of the major disincentives for people who perhaps have only one or two items they need to get but don’t want to fork out to pay for parking when they are only going to need a parking space for maybe 10 minutes. If it encourages people back into the town centre then that is a good thing.

“In addition, all pay and display charges in Fraserburgh will be suspended for the four Saturdays before Christmas time,” added Councillor Brian Topping.

It is understood that Aberdeenshire Council will introduce the parking changes by June 2014. In Fraserburgh, pay and display car parks will have an initial one-hour free period at all times. On Saturdays, all parking will be free of charge after 10am.