Members of the City of Inverness Area Committee have given their backing for the introduction on a year-long trial offering 15 minutes of free parking within the city centre in On-street pay & display bays.
The pilot project will allow drivers to park for up to 15 minutes in on-street pay and display spaces without charge if they use the ticketing machines to print out and display a free ticket. It will not apply to pay and display car parks.
The Committee will review the scheme in 12 months and if it is adopted permanently, the Highland capital will be following in the footsteps of Perth, where a similar one-year trial was recently made permanent.
The Committee also approved to go out to public consultation on a plan to introduce 17 new short-stay pay and display parking bays across the city centre which will allow drivers to park for an hour for a charge of £1. Formal consultation will take place and any objections that cannot be resolved will come back to Committee for their consideration.
Provost Councillor Helen Carmichael said: “We have listened to requests from retailers and members of Inverness Bid to offer free parking periods so I am delighted this trial got the support of the Committee. Over the next 12 months the council will be closely monitoring how the pilot is going before coming to any decision about making the trial more permanent. It’s about striking a balance between making our city centres as accessible and shopper friendly as possible and managing congestion and the environmental impact traffic has within Inverness.
“In the future I would like us to explore having electric hop on and hop off transport within the city centre as part of the mix.”
The new parking arrangements will come into operation within the next few weeks once the pay and display machines are re-adjusted.