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Parking charges in Huntly will return in January

By Pat Scott

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FROM January, people will once again have to pay to park in The Square in Huntly and at other pay and display car parks across Aberdeenshire.

Charges were suspended at all off-street parking in March as a result of the Covid-19 emergency to alleviate any concerns which members of the public had with touching the machines and to reduce the need for council staff to attend them.

But from Monday, January 4 charges will again apply.

Revised charges were introduced in September 2019, to try to ensure the operating and maintenance costs of approximately £48,000 a month to provide pay and display car parks are met.

The charges are: up to 1 hour - 50p; up to 2 hours - £1; up to 5 hours - £3; up to 9 hours - £5.

Aberdeenshire Council has completed the introduction of a number of improvements at all of its pay and display car-parks including new card payment options.

Motorists can pay at machines using coins or card payment via chip or contactless technology. People can also pay via cashless parking provider RingGo by using a mobile device or PC which removes the need to use a machine.

All machines are now linked to the hand-held enforcement equipment used by staff to verify which vehicles have paid – improving the customer experience should a driver forget to display their ticket.

Head of Transportation Ewan Wallace said: “As our town centres have started returning to higher levels of car use, some customers have been experiencing difficulty accessing parking spaces due to a lack of turnover.

“Charging is a way of managing the supply and demand of our pay and display car-parks and it helps bring our facilities closer to covering their own costs which is absolutely vital.”

Aberdeenshire has more than 100 car parks with in excess of 4000 parking spaces and charges only apply in 24 of these car parks. Costs to the council include business rates, repairs and maintenance, staffing and enforcement costs.

Almost 75 per cent of parking is free - including Nelson Street and East Park Street in Huntly.

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