It is fair to say that one of the issues most frequently raised with me as a local councillor in the West End is the issue of car parking. I have made clear that I understand why local people did not back the previous attempt at a one-size-fits-all residents car parking scheme. I also made clear at the time when this was finally rejected that this could not be the end of the discussion. There are still issues around car parking in the West End.
I have said before and I will say it again that I think that the council should look at local solutions to car parking issues. One-size-fits-all doesn't work and we need to change how we look at these things. The issues vary from street to street. I am also clear that we all have look at our reliance on having easy access to our own car, and that includes me.
Last week the Evening Telegraph produced figures which showed that Dundee City Council was owed £1.4 million in parking fines. I am clear that people who owe the council money should pay what they are due. Some of the streets where most parking tickets are issues are in the West End, such as Perth Road (it is a very long street) and South Tay Street. I do think that we need to have a look at parking regulations especially around the periphery of the city centre.
I think that parking regulations in the city centre and on its edges push many people to park in the West End and in other areas near to the city centre. In the West End this includes areas like the Perth Road, Magdelen Green, Roseangle, the Perth Road lanes and even as far up as Blackness Avenue and the streets off it.
I think that we need to sit down and look at these issues, is the council assisting businesses through its parking regulations or making life difficult for them. The council has income targets for car parking and I wonder if this influences policy too much in these times of austerity. I understand a need for regulation to ensure that spaces are freed up regularly and that cars cannot be abandoned for days or weeks on end. I do think that we need to have a look at whether what the council is doing at the moment is benefiting the people the council is trying to help.