Michael Green was the only Highland Councillor present at the meeting of West/Suburban Community Council on Monday night in the Community Centre when the topic of the threat of parking charges being implemented in the town was discussed.
Dick Youngson the Chair of NWSCC told the meeting: "We've always managed to resist it and avoid it in the past clearly on the basis that Nairn depends on people, depends on the parking, because all this will do is drive people out to the supermarkets that have free parking.
Michael Green then spoke: "I'm not sure where this has come from, the way the budget process works, everything is up for discussion and they put forward all the scenarios, everything it costs is broken down and it says what if we did this, what if we did this.
I would suggest to you that it is very, very unlikely. It is incredibly unlikely that this will happen. It's just a scenario and it is meant to be sort of private discussions but obviously something like that has leaked out."
Michael then reminisced: "I remember going back 20 years or so when Sheena Baker and I were running the ANB and a similar thing raised its head. We led the campaign which was not too onerous because what transpired was that it would cost incredible sums of money to put in a parking system and it would generate very little. The same applies even more so there is no capital really. It's not a priority to put in traffic systems, parking systems in Nairn
So it is incredibly unlikely and what was driving it transpired was seemingly some councillors down in Fort William who couldn't get to sleep at night with the thought of folk in Nairn getting free parking.
It was a scenario that comes up every year and every year it is knocked back. So I would suggest the same thing will happen this year. "
So councillor Green has categorically stated this might happen, not that it won't!, if we're not careful we'll end up with nine sets of traffic lights we don't need snarling up the flow of traffic in the town.......oh wait!
For parking charges to be introduced to Nairn there would have to be a lot of investment in terms of infrastructure. Signs, meters and parking wardens come to mind. Any financial gain from parking charges would be long term for the council as for the first few years parking fees would be going towards the startup cost of the scheme
As for Michael Green...
Well with any politician the opposite of what they say will likely happen.
Maybe us locals could be issued with Dolphin badges that give us a first free 2 hours?
Cynical bunch on here..... Councillor Green is right, the cost of this would outway the income and the fuss it would kick off would cause too many issues for the council I'd think. As for Councillor Green...... Is he the only one that turns up to any such meeting in Nairn, seems so.
H.C. already charge at Aviemore which is a much smaller car park than either the Links or the Library carparks. The installation costs either bought outright or on lease hire (external maintenance contract) are off-set against profit/tax payable etc. So from an accounting perspective it can be made "cheaper".
Existing places in the H.C area which have parking charges & toilet charges (again like Aviemore) can argue "why are we being singled out for charges".
I personally believe both charges will happen across more of the H.C. area. More a case of when & NOT if!!
@Dross- the comparision with aviemore is a poor one, aviemore over trades, has a higher footfall than Nairn and is a destination whereas Nairn does not have the same guaranteed trade. The reason aviemore has less parking is that it has had more tourist related commercial space built on top off the space thwt would have likely been parking.
Council now has a parking team. That team will have a manager. Manager will have a target to meet. S/he will have to raise income. So .... quid pro quo ... Nairn may get parking meters!
Forestry Commission installed them along the road ..... so ......
First 2 hours free for locals could be a good deal?
Locals would have to pay for parking in Nairn if charges were brought. Administration fees for any local type scheme would be too high to make it worthwhile. Only concession I can see so as not to kill off the remaining High St shops would be first 20 minutes free but that would hit the likes of cafes etc
Only Highland Council will be winners if it happens
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