Council urged to keep free parking

The Inverurie Business Association and We Are Inverurie believe shoppers will stop visiting the town centre if the free parking ends
The Inverurie Business Association and We Are Inverurie believe shoppers will stop visiting the town centre if the free parking ends

Inverurie Business Association (IBA) has been working closely with We Are Inverurie to retain the town’s 30-minute free parking.

The option to remove free off-street parking from the town has recently been under review by Aberdeenshire Council.

Both of the not-for-profit organisations have voiced concerns about the latest proposal to remove 30 minutes free parking from towns across Aberdeenshire, including Inverurie.

At the end of November Aberdeenshire Council’s report to the Infrastructure Services Committee indicated that a preferred option of the Working Group was to remove all free parking across the region.

Both IBA and We Are Inverurie believe that, as Inverurie’s parking is currently returning a surplus, removing it would effectively result in people having to pay to park in the town’s subsiding other towns, a move the two organisations say is “unacceptable”.

A spokesperson from IBA said: “We feel very strongly that the removal of the free parking could have a negative impact on Inverurie’s retail and town centre businesses by reducing trade from local people who pop in to the shops, visit the bank or library, or get coffee and lunch.

“Most people do not carry change and the parking app available at the car parks isn’t always the easiest for everyone to use and is dependent on drivers having access to a moblie phone.

“We have been canvassing feedback from our social media followers and to-date the majority of people who commented have said that the 30 minutes free parking encourages them to use local shops, with many saying that they would not if the free parking was removed.”

IBA and We Are Inverurie have approached Aberdeenshire Council to request that they reconsider the option to retain the free 30-minute parking in Inverurie to support the town’s local businesses and encourage people to shop locally.