Parking charges are being reintroduced in Inverclyde Council off-street car parks after a two-and-a-half-year suspension with fees being introduced for the first time at three other sites as well as changes to electric vehicle restrictions.
The local authority suspended off-street car park charges at the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020 initially in response to coronavirus restrictions and low usage then latterly to assist businesses as part of pandemic recovery support.
As more things return to normal and in response to feedback from traders and residents, parking charges are being reintroduced on Monday 3 October 2022 in off-street car parks which were previously subject to a £2 per day fee from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.
These off-street car parks are: Bullring, Roslin Street, West Stewart Street, Hastie Street, Station Avenue East, Station Avenue West, Cathcart Street East and Dalrymple Street, all Greenock, and Station Road North and Station Road South in Gourock.
They will once again be subject to a £2 per day fee.
Parking charges will also be introduced for the first time on Monday 3 October 2022 in Kempock Street off-street car park in Gourock and Fore Street and Shore Street off-street car parks in Port Glasgow.
In the Kempock Street, Fore Street and Shore Street off-street car parks, vehicles will be allowed to park for free for up to three hours per day – only one three-hour free parking ticket may be obtained in the same calendar day in the same town or village – or will pay £2 each day to park for more than three hours from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.
All vehicles must display a parking ticket no matter how long they park.
Resident parking permit holders and blue badge holders will be exempt from the parking charges and eligible households in Gourock will be contacted directly about how to apply for a permit.
Eligible households in Port Glasgow should already have permits for changes which were introduced in August 2021.
Electric vehicles parking in electric vehicle parking spaces will also no longer be exempt from off-street parking charges and time limits.
Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s convener of environment and regeneration, said: “It made sense to suspend car park charges initially in response to the outbreak of Covid-19 and then to extend the suspension of charges to support town centre businesses and our residents during the recovery phase.
“Two-and-a-half years later, we are largely back to normal and our town centres are busy once again so charges are being reintroduced in council-owned off-street car parks to prevent spaces from being blocked all day and encourage greater turnover to aid local traders.
“In a similar vein, charges are also being introduced in off-street car parks in Gourock and Port Glasgow town centres and this follows feedback from businesses and residents.
“While these changes will not be universally popular, we have tried to find compromises to suit everyone, including residents’ parking permits so that those living in the town centres aren’t negatively impacted, three hours’ free parking to afford people ample time to shop, dine or use local services and of course, there are no restrictions at the weekend.
“The council website will have more detailed information about the changes, including maps of where people can park and what restrictions apply, soon and I encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with the changes to ensure they don’t fall foul of a parking fine.”
Resident parking permit holders will be exempt from the parking charges and can park for as long as required in marked bays.
Eligible households in Gourock will be sent a letter inviting them to apply for a parking permit.
They will need to submit proof of address, proof the vehicle is registered to their address and their insurance certificate as part of their application.
Pay and display machines and new parking signs will be installed in mid-September in preparation for the new charges.
For more information about the changes and parking in general across Inverclyde, visit www.inverclyde.gov.uk/parking