If you use Aberdeenshire Council Pay and Display car parks across the area, the way you pay for parking and any charges you accrue is changing.
The card payment function will no longer be supported from next week (May 14/15) due to a change in legislation relating to security and the high cost associated with the upgrade of the machines.
Cash will of course still be accepted and payment can also be made using the RingGo smartphone application, or by telephone.
Excess Charge Notices – the fine received when a motorist does not adhere to the terms and conditions of the car park – can also be made via RingGo or online, but only for the reduced, instant payment rate. Payment of this reduced rate by card was previously possible at ticket machines.
A consultation process is currently ongoing to seek views on fees and charges in Pay and Display car parks, which have not changed for three years.
The current tariff structure was introduced to encourage economic activity in town centres, and while the number of visits has increased, the council now loses a significant sum of money.
Officers have been seeking views on the possibility of: removing free parking periods, increasing charges, changing the times fees are payable and the car parks where charges apply.
It costs the council to provide and maintain car parks across the area, including the employment of enforcement staff, upkeep and the payment of Business Rates.
Currently car parks operate at a loss of around £140,000 a year, and the council wants to get closer to a position where they cover their own costs, as they have in the past.
Members of the public recently gave their opinions and now Aberdeenshire’s six Area Committees are being asked their views on a range of possible options.
Local councillors are in a good position to say what the best solutions for their local towns are, while attempting to achieve a balanced car parking budget.
Their views will be considered by the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee before it makes a final decision on any changes, which would then be applied from April 1, 2019.
More information on the RingGo cashless parking application is available on the Aberdeenshire Council website.