Parking in Stornoway town centre has become an expensive business for workers with more and more spaces subject to parking fees.
In the summer free parking is almost non-existent as visitors arrive and swell the demand for free parking, meaning that more often than not, those needing to park in town for work, have no choice but to pay for their parking.
At 50p per hour that works out to £4 per day, £20 per week or around £900 per year, something I can little afford. However, as I’ve also been fined twice this year for parking outwith my ticket time because I’ve forgotten to update my ticket after the maximum three hour period, I have also paid another £60 on top of this annual expense.
The parking charges were brought in, we were told, for the convenience of shoppers and to support the shops on the mainstreet.
I would argue that this criteria has no basis as shoppers look for free parking first and only pay for parking when they can’t find a convenient free space.
The many empty parking spaces in Perceval Square car park at most lunchtimes supports my argument, especially when you contrast this with the town’s free parking areas where cars are parked outwith the actual parking bays to avoid fees elsewhere.
Also why is there a three hour maximum period for parking? Is this simply a way to catch out people parking for the day, who end up paying parking fines?
Parking in town needs to go back to the drawing board.