Friday, January 13, 2006

Restauranteur wants lower parking fines for businesses

The Scotsman
Wednesday 11th January 06
Brian Ferguson City Council Reporter

A LEADING restaurateur who racks up a dozen parking tickets a year outside his premises has called for business owners to be given reduced fines.
Malcolm Duck, who is head of the Edinburgh Restaurateurs Association, is leading a campaign to get special treatment from Edinburgh's Enforcers under the city council's ongoing parking review.

The association wants a scheme allowing them to pay just £5 per parking infringement, instead of the current fine of £30.
The Federation of Small Businesses has called for the idea to be explored along with proposals to provide special parking permits for businesses and tradespeople for the first time.
Mr Duck said he received an average of one parking ticket a month outside his business - Duck's at Le Marche Noir - in Eyre Place, in the New Town.
He believes discounted parking fines should be available to all small and independent businesses because of the costs involved in settling parking fines.
Mr Duck said: "The city has to decide whether it wants businesses like ours in the city centre. We are being hammered all the time by the parking attendants and there is no leeway given at all.
"It seems entirely reasonable to me to allow small businesses to pay a reduced fine if they are caught infringing the regulations outside their business.
"We are actually trying to run a business and are not deliberately breaking the parking rules. It is just that it is vital that we are able to park outside even if it is just for five minutes."
The council's parking review was ordered more than a year ago by council leader Donald Anderson, who admitted the current rules were too tough on some firms.
Under proposals unveiled in November, which are currently subject to a massive consultation exercise, business owners with premises outwith the current central parking zone would be entitled to one permit, as long as they had a liveried van.
Business permits are not currently planned to be available to firms in the very heart of the city because of the large number.
However, the council's plans are still under discussion with business leaders, with a final report not due to be confirmed by the local authority until March.
Other plans being discussed include exploring the possibility of free on-street parking on Saturday afternoons, cheaper residential permits for smaller cars and banning cars parking on yellow lines on Sundays.
Tim Steward, of the Federation of Small Businesses, warned: "Businesses will simply move out of the city centre if this kind of thing continues to happen. The council needs to start looking sympathetically at the needs of business owners."
City transport leader Andrew Burns said: "Although we are still discussing options with businesses, discounted parking tickets for businesses would not be appropriate."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Neil, hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and New year?

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