BY Ian Dunn | January 14 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

9-parkingfine

Christian complaints over parking charge plan

Edinburgh Christians of all denominations are uniting against a new council moving to scrap free Sunday parking.

The proposals that would charge motorists for street parking on the Sunday for the first time in decades and Fr Jim Crampsey of the Sacred Heart in Lauriston said they would oppose any change as elderly and disabled people ‘rely heavily’ on free Sunday parking and it would unfairly penalise them.

The Church of Scotland’s Reverend Ian Gilmour, of St Andrew’s and St George’s West, said the axing of free Sunday parking would ‘damage the Christian community’ in Edinburgh and said he will call on ‘all our members and every congregation in the city’ to voice their objections.

“I plan on mentioning that to all of our three dedicated worship services closer to the time when the council announces plans for this next consultation,” he said.

Mr Gilmour said he could agree to partial restrictions – charging for afternoon parking, for example—but Sunday mornings should be free.

Parishioners will be encouraged to lobby their local councillors to demonstrate their strength of feeling against the proposals.

The city council argues that free parking was appropriate for an era when shops were closed on the Sabbath but with Sunday shopping growing ever more popular uncontrolled parking was now obstructing traffic and sparking delays in the city centre.

Councillor Lesley Hinds defended the plans—which have gone out for public consultation— arguing that parking fees would help reduce traffic congestion.

“Increased parking controls on Sundays is something the council is exploring as a means of potentially reducing traffic, improving the environment for pedestrians and cyclists as well as increasing turnover and footfall for businesses in the city centre,” she said.

 

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