Underused Aberdeen car parks could be closed down as the council seeks to deter motorists from driving into the centre of the city.
A report going before councillors details dwindling usage figures at the spaces on Jack’s Brae in Rosemount, and on Virginia Street – and officers have urged that “opportunities to rationalise” them be explored.
The dossier shows that car parks to the west of the city centre only reach 60% capacity, even at peak times, while others in the south of the centre are “well-used”.
The recommendation comes as part of radical long term plans to discourage motorists from using the city centre as a through route – and to divert heavy traffic onto the AWPR.
Opposition Liberal Democrat infrastructure spokesman, Steve Delaney, said that more should be done to encourage people to use the under-utilised car parks in the meantime.
Mr Delaney said: “I think it would be good practice to look at signage to see if there is anything more that can be done to encourage people to use these car parks.
“I would have concerns about closing any at this stage.
“While we need to start planning now for a city centre without cars, actually getting there is many years down the line and people will need places to park at least in the short term.”
Council co-leader, Douglas Lumsden, said: “Better signage or smart signage may be what’s required to get people using these facilities.
“The whole idea of the roads hierarchy is to encourage new ways to get across the city, and while these car parks are generally in the right place they may benefit from more people knowing about them.”
One of the projects in the council’s 25-year city centre masterplan would mean the permanent closure of Golden Square car park to create a new green space.
Suggestions put forward by consultants as part of the scheme include structural assessment work on all multi-storey car parks, and a general review of all off-street car parks.
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A trial scheme called Alive at Five was launched in October, where motorists were being offered free parking at many local authority and shopping centre buildings after 5pm.
However the scheme was largely unsuccessful and it was cut by the ruling administration in March.
The local authority’s growth committee will discuss the fresh findings on Thursday.