Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Reintroduction of parking charges in Moray pushed back to help businesses recover

Moray Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sarah Medcraf co-signed a letter urging the council to reconsider their position on reinstating car parking charges.
Picture by Jason Hedges.
Moray Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sarah Medcraf co-signed a letter urging the council to reconsider their position on reinstating car parking charges. Picture by Jason Hedges.

Parking charges will remain suspended in Moray’s biggest town until at least October amid concerns businesses are continuing to recover from the coronavirus closure.

Pay and display fees were dropped in Elgin during the pandemic and had been due to be brought back from August 1 before a wave of opposition forced the move to be delayed.

Yesterday, councillors agreed to review the policy again on October 6 amid suggestions the reintroduction could come following the autumn school holidays.

Last night Moray Chamber of Commerce, who led the opposition to reintroduction of charges with Visit Moray Speyside, Elgin’s business improvement district and the Federation of Small Businesses, said the delay would help the town centre to recover.

However, warnings were issued that delaying the move too long would damage the council’s finances at a time they are already under pressure from extra Covid-19 costs.

Elgin City South councillor John Divers, who is also an Elgin Bid director, argued time was needed to build confidence with shoppers.

He said: “Businesses aren’t seeing an increase in shoppers yet. On Saturday the pedestrianised area was quite full, but if you looked inside the shops there were not many people there.

“People are starting to come out slowly again but we need to do something to attract them back into the town centre.”

Concerns were also raised during the meeting that car park spaces were being filled by workers in the morning, leaving little space for shoppers.

Former council leader George Alexander, who now leads a group of independent members, argued the free parking was having little benefit for traders.

He said: “At the moment it’s just an impression that if we don’t charge then the High Street will be busier – there’s no evidence to support that.

“We need to get things back to as near normal as possible. At the moment it’s not benefiting businesses but it’s certainly damaging the council.”

Council officers have estimated that dropping charges from August to October will cost the authority £112,000.

Council leader Graham Leadbitter warned the lost revenue could mean spending will have to be limited in other priority areas.

Sarah Medcraf, chief executive of Moray Chamber of Commerce, believes delaying the reintroduction  will be welcomed by both businesses and shoppers.

She said: “After the Eat Out to Help Out scheme concludes, we need to be working harder to encourage people on to our high streets and free parking is certainly a factor in that.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]