PAY and display parking in Eyemouth is set to be made permanent, as an 18-month trial period draws to a close.
The new Berwickshire Area Forum approved recommendations regarding parking in the town at its first meeting last week.
Speaking at that meeting, Assistant Road User Manager Jim McQuilin explained how the project, which included two surveys of car parking capability in the town, has been modified to take into account the requirements of a working harbour.
“There were concerns about the people who work there, the restaurants and the businesses, the people trying to make a living at a hard time for the fishing industry,” he said.
Some of those businesses registered their complaints during the scheme’s trial.
Peter Giacopazzi, proprietor of Oblo and Giacopazzi’s on the harbour front, wrote to describe the loss of business in both restaurants: “Customers are now put off from coming in for lunch as they are either bound by a time limit or have to incur additional charges.”
The original pay and display scheme has been adapted to take into account local objections.
Residents of Harbour Road and Marine Parade have been issued with free parking permits. Businesses on Harbour Road have also received free visitor permits, to be passed on to customers.
The daily rate has also been capped at £4 per day. EHT have also suggested a period of free parking, described as a “truce” by coun Jim Fullarton, between December and January.
Eyemouth Harbour Trust has outlined some of the benefits to the quay brought about through the 18-month Experimental Traffic Regulation Order, which set up pay and display bays along the harbour front.
There is now a designated loading area where no charges apply. This allows commercial vehicles to make use of an area previously crowded with parked cars, and help alleviate the impact on local businesses.
In Mr McQuilin’s report to the Forum, he described how the scheme provided “a much needed source of revenue”.
The costs of the project will be met by the EHT, a not-for profit organisation run by a board of volunteers who are part of the community.
Any surplus income from the parking meters will go to the maintenance and improvement of Eymeouth’s working harbour.