A series of changes for parking in Prestwick and Ayr, based on extensive public consultation, is set to be introduced by South Ayrshire Council.
Over 350 people took part in the consultation, which comprised 26 drop-in sessions and an online survey – with the majority of respondents (68%) indicating they had experienced difficulty in parking in their own street or local area in both towns.
Almost 40% of those respondents attributed the problem to non-residents using local residential areas to park their cars – with Prestwick rail station and airport users – cited as a particular nuisance.
Councillor John McDowall, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Environment welcomed the changes saying: "The new parking changes are a direct reflection of what people wanted and a residential parking scheme for local streets was high on most people's list.
"Subject to Traffic Regulation Orders being approved, that's exactly what we're going to deliver in the areas most affected, with residential parking permits, valid for two years (costing £45 per annum) being introduced."
The permits will also be zoned – allowing the holder to park within a recognised area rather than an individual street – increasing the number of spaces available to them. There are no parking changes proposed for Blue Badge Holders and holders will not have to pay for a residential parking permit.
Councillor McDowall continued: "Residential parking for less than £1 per week represents real value for money and, we're going to augment this by limiting non-permit holders to a maximum of one hour's parking on local streets."
Respondents also said they wanted longer to do their shopping in town.
Councillor McDowall said: "Again, we listened and we've acted. In addition to the existing arrangements for free, unrestricted parking in both towns on Saturday afternoons, we're proposing to increase parking times in many pay and display areas. In some areas waiting times will go up to three hours, making it easier than ever before for people to spend more time in town, visiting or shopping."
The public feedback also indicated that the Council's Parking Attendants were doing a good job – making a real difference to the availability of parking in both Ayr and Prestwick.
Councillor McDowall continued: "It was refreshing to hear of the positive impact our Parking Attendants have had on parking and our new measures will directly tie in with our continued efforts to enforce parking regulations in both towns."
Stewart Turner, Head of the Ayrshire Roads Alliance which will be implementing the changes added: "I'm confident the Council's proposals will make a real difference both to the access and availability of parking for residents, businesses and visitors in Ayr and Prestwick.
"It is especially pleasing that we'll be taking forward measures which reflect what local people want in their area and, in line with the Council's decision, the new arrangements will be closely monitored to make sure we're all consistently delivering on the needs of local people."