Own-goal over evening parking?

There is growing storm over Aberdeen City Council’s latest revenue-raising idea – levying an overnight parking charge on anyone who parks beyond 8pm in one of their car parks.

But, it is the fact that this overnight charge has to be paid on top of any time paid to cover the period before 8pm that has caused confusion, a flurry of parking tickets and unsurprising fury.

The situation is so confusing that I am not sure I understand it. (So the poor motorist rushing to get to a performance at the theatre, or to catch a table booking at a restaurant, has little chance.)

Don’t forget to pay for overnight parking before you go into the theatre!

Apparently you are supposed to know that you pay for any time you need until 8pm and, if you intend to stay after that time, you simultaneously chuck in your overnight fee. At least I think that is what the Town House people implied.

We all know that Aberdeen City Council is in a financial predicament. The city sends much of its revenue to Edinburgh where local government money is divvied up.

When it comes to handing money back to the councils, Aberdeen is right at the bottom of the pile – with the smallest per-capita funding of any council in Scotland.

But, that does not excuse implementing a confusing parking system that has caught out and infuriated many people. It is certainly something absolutely guaranteed to leave a bad taste for any visitors to Aberdeen who get caught out... and they will.

But it is a questionable strategy to charge for evening parking. Should Aberdeen not be doing what it can to encourage evening visitors? Most cities, for this reason, stop car park charges at 6pm as, indeed, Aberdeen used to.
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