Council defends "shocking" Stirling car park price rises amid public criticism

Substantial rises in parking charges have been defended by Stirling Council following criticism by some Observer readers.

Motorists say in some cases the cost has doubled since budget increases were implemented earlier this month.

One reader said: “Stirling Council have increased the prices of parking in their Linden Avenue car park and the prices have now increased from £8 to £16 a week, not including the fee if you book through RingGo.

“As someone who earns slightly above the new minimum wage and travels daily to Stirling from Crieff for my work, how can this be justified by the local council?

“This is pure and simple greed on behalf of the council and is totally unjustified. Compounded with the upwardly increasingly fuel prices it now effectively wipes out my pay rise.

“This was one of their recommendations from their recently agreed budget to increase car park charges but it’s totally unjustifiable to increase it by 100 per cent.

“Are the council now laying the groundwork for their recently announced consultation about the change in use of the land the car park sits on to housing.

“Is this how they justify that an underutilised carpark should be converted to housing and it’s only underutilised because of the costs have increased and it is unaffordable to park in.”

Another reader berated an increase in charges at the council-run Wellgreen car park.

They said: “In Stirling today and parked at the Wellgreen car park.

“The cost has gone up from £2.30 to £4.

“I think that’s a 58 per cent rise. Shocking.”

Local business Victoria’s Coffee Shop posted earlier this month: “In a time when, let’s be honest, Stirling city centre needs some help, we need an increase in footfall, Stirling council sees fit to increase car parking charges. Not just by 20/30p but almost double in some places.

“The Vue has now went from £2.20 to £4 a day, £8 a week to £16. Victoria Square from £3.60 to £5.

“It beggars belief that the ‘visionaries’ for our town centre see this as an acceptable move, not to mention how much it now costs workers to park.”

However, this week Stirling Council defended the parking charge increases.

A spokesperson said: “We faced a £16.3 million shortfall in our budget for 2024-25 which, like most local authorities, required many extremely difficult decisions to be made on savings across a wide range of council services. The price for an all-day off street parking ticket in Stirling city centre is £4 per day, compared to between £5.50-£12.30 in other similar sized Scottish cities.

“Residents and visitors can also use the option of weekly, four weekly and annual season tickets in many areas to increase choice and cost-effectiveness.

A notice on a payment machine in Stirling's Wellgreen car park
A notice on a payment machine in Stirling's Wellgreen car park -Credit:DONALD MORTON

“We remain committed to offering a broad mix of options to encourage visitors and residents to park safely and responsibly.

“Residents, visitors and commuters can also access our popular Park and Ride facilities at Castleview and Springkerse, which offer regular journeys into the city centre from as little as £1 for an adult return, or £5.60 for a weekly ticket, with EV charging also available at Castleview.

“Stirling’s city centre continues to attract visitors and residents alike, with a number of new businesses complementing its already diverse offering.”

The new parking charges took effect from May 5 and were approved in the council’s budget setting meeting on February 29.

Full details of the council’s parking charges including at its car parks, roadside parking options and park and ride are available at the ‘parking in Stirling’ page at www.stirling.gov.uk.