Mar 23 2012 by Stuart Wilson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
A RAFT of town centre parking meters will open for business next month.
The 56 pay and display machines have been installed at locations around Ayr.
And they will gradually replace the current voucher scheme, which the council hopes to phase out by the end of August.
Machines will charge motorists 60p per hour to park in one of the town centre’s 578 on-street bays.
Mike Newall, the council’s head of planning and enterprise, said: “The installation of 56 new pay and display machines is now underway throughout the centre of Ayr, providing an exciting and new customer-friendly replacement for the voucher parking scheme.
“The machines will provide cheaper and more flexible parking options with the cost of parking coming down from 80p to 60p an hour and a new short-term stay of 30 minutes available to motorists.
“We hope this will help increase parking turnover within the town centre, with more short-stay parking for shoppers and businesses alike.”
The voucher system has been open to criticism since last year, with a lack of wardens now employed by the council.
Police have been asked to pick up the slack and book cars where possible while on their routine patrols.
But Mr Newall insists the current system will continue to operate until later this year, and work alongside the new machines.
He explained: “The pre-purchased vouchers will continue to be available for sale until the new machines are fully operational, which will be early April and any vouchers purchased can be used until the end of August, so those who purchase in bulk have plenty of time to use them.
“The new pay and display machines are the latest stage in the implementation of our parking strategy, which we’ll continue to implement in the coming weeks and months as we work towards the introduction of decriminalised parking enforcement within South Ayrshire in the autumn.”