Parking shock for Falkirk’s early starters

Motorists using the car parks outside the Municipal Buildings and Town Hall wll soon have to pay for the privilege
Motorists using the car parks outside the Municipal Buildings and Town Hall wll soon have to pay for the privilege
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Dozens of town centre workers who enjoyed free parking because of their early start will say goodbye to the ‘perk’ next month.

Falkirk Council included plans to start charging 
for spaces outside the Municipal Buildings and Town Hall in its budget in February.

It has invested £36,000 on pay and display machines and could bank as much as £123,000 a year from its latest money-spinner.

The cash grab will come as a blow to shop and office staff who have been able to pick their free spots at the bottom of West Bridge Street ahead of the traditional early morning rush.

Typically all 73 slots outside the council’s HQ and 32 spaces in front of the town hall have been snapped up well before 8 a.m.

Now they will be charged £2 for up to two-hour stay or £3.80 for four hours.

The car park at the side of the town hall, which up until now has also always been free but ‘reserved’ for visitors to the council buildings, has been included in the ‘pay to stay’ scheme.

That creates the chance to charge for a total of 172 spaces and make the council over £6800 a week.

A council spokesman said: “The decision to implement pay and display parking at the Municipal Buildings was taken at full council as part of the budget setting process. Set up and implementation costs are estimated at £36,000.

‘‘Charges will be the same as our existing town centre short stay car parks and free after 3 p.m. and a four week period at Christmas.”

He added that, if the council sticks with the ‘free’ part of the policy, income will be £92,000 a year - but will rise to £123,000 if its decides to scrap it.