Parking charges opposed

Controversial coastal car parking charges are expected to start in East Lothian by late spring.

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council said: “There was a public consultation on the Traffic Regulation Order for the coastal car parking which ended at the beginning of December.

“A small number of objections were received and these will now be addressed.”

In its three year budget set last year, East Lothian Council’s Labour/Conservative administration agreed to introduce parking charges at coastal car parks throughout the county to generate £450,000 of income.

Councillor Willie Innes, council leader, said at the time that the council, in common with other public sector bodies, was currently facing some serious financial challenges.

Speaking ahead this year’s council budget, which is due to be debated in February, Councillor Stuart Currie, the SNP group leader, said: “When this daft idea was put forward by Labour and the Tories we campaigned against it and stood shoulder to shoulder with our communities and more than a thousand people who signed petitions also in opposition.

“In February the SNP group will propose a budget that does not impose these parking charges and yet still commits to continue the SNP car park improvements which were started a few years ago on our watch.

“Our view was, is and will continue to be, that to charge residents and tourists to visit our stunning coastline is nothing more than a tax on local people and tourism.”