Following extensive consultation agreement was reached to progress new parking management proposals in North Berwick

Approval to advance proposals for parking management in North Berwick was granted at today’s (Tuesday 25 April) full Council meeting.

To understand the impact of traffic and parking on North Berwick, detailed traffic and parking surveys were carried out in the town in 2019 and 2021 to determine the level of turnover within on- and off-street parking facilities. It was recognised that parking management strategies can encourage the use of alternative and more sustainable modes of travel, as well as reduce congestion and increase the turnover and thus parking opportunities in the spaces available.

In order to explore more fully the views and opinions of residents, businesses, visitors and other stakeholders East Lothian Council opened a consultation on parking management in North Berwick in late 2022 (from 2 November until 13 December) which included a dedicated website providing full details of proposals, a number of public meetings, social media posts and questionnaires.

The proposals under consultation included the introduction of four controlled parking zones with permits available for residents for an annual charge and time restrictions and changes for on street parking and parking within the town centre car parks. In response 4652 visits were made to the website, 1407 surveys completed, of which 704 were from North Berwick residents, 241 people attended the public consultation events and 121 emails and 17 letters were received from the public.

Cllr John McMillan, Cabinet Member for Environment, Economic Development and Tourism, said: “This has been a very detailed and complex piece of work and I would like to extend my thanks to the residents, businesses, visitors and other interested parties who have engaged with the consultation and provided their views. 49% of respondents agreed that North Berwick has a parking problem with 29% or respondents stating that it didn’t – so we now have to look at how best to provide parking management that addresses the concerns raised by the majority. We have listened and responded by making changes to some of the original proposals.

“North Berwick town centre is a destination for both local residents and visitors and the greatest level of concern raised by the respondents is the perceived impact on the local economy. The North Berwick Business Association, specifically requested lengthening the proposed free charge period of 30 minutes to 90 minutes on the High Street. The consultants have produced data from parking management schemes elsewhere which indicates a shorter time period for parking increases turn-over of spaces and so also increases availability. Taking varied views on this into account the new proposals will increase the free charge period from 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

“We have also responded to concerns about the lack of residents’ parking within Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) and so are removing designated residents’ only spaces and combining those with on street paid spaces which will greatly increase parking space availability. Another concern was that the proposed maximum length of stay within CPZs was too short so the new recommendation is to increase the proposed 5 hours to 6 hours in the west area and from 4 hours to 5 hours in off street car parks.

“The council today agreed to progress to the next stage of the Traffic Regulation Order process to make the Order which will allow further opportunity for people to raise further representations and objections to the proposals as amended.  I would encourage all who may have a view to consider these amended proposals and continue to engage on this issue.”

Published: Tuesday, 25th April 2023