Edinburgh City-wide Parking Phase 2 Consultation

Posted on: March 26, 2021

Our comments on the Council proposals for controlled parking in parts of the city.

The City of Edinburgh Council is proposing a series of measures to address parking pressures in eight different neighbourhoods across the city.  Members of the public have been in touch asking the Cockburn’s opinion about the ongoing consultation about these proposals.

Consultation closes at midnight on the 28th March 2021.

Find out more information and offer the Council your opinion at the link under our comments below.

Cockburn Response

Our concerns mainly focus on managing the amenity and environmental impacts of these proposed parking controlled zones.

Residential gardens form a major part of Edinburgh’s streetscapes, helping to improve air quality, support biodiversity, improve health and wellbeing, and enhance the traditional sense of place of communities across the city. They are also important because they help surface water management as garden vegetation acts as a “sponge” by soaking up rainfall and filtering pollution. This fact will become increasingly important as out local climate changes in the years to come.

However, many gardens across Edinburgh have already been covered by hard paving by residents to create off-street parking. Replacing natural vegetation with impermeable surfaces reduces the amount of rainfall that can infiltrate naturally into the ground and increases the rate and volume of runoff flowing to the city’s drainage systems. During storm events, this can cause the system to become overwhelmed and lead to localised flooding and storm events are expected to become much more common in the future.

The further expansion of on-street parking may encourage the further conversion of gardens to driveways. It is entirely understandable why householders would seek to repurpose their front gardens in this way, especially to avoid parking permit costs when including within a Parking Control Zone. However, this represents the semi-privatisation of adjacent public streets with new dropped curbs and potentially more roadside restrictions preventing the new driveway from being blocked by street parking.  In most places, this will result in a significant further reduction in on-street parking, exacerbating the problem of supply rather than alleviating it. It is also important to flag up that that a proliferation of dropped kerbs can present addition problems for pedestrians and wheelers, especially those with mobility or sight issues and with young children.

Without urban planning controls and design guidance, further restrictions to on-street parking run the risk of promoting more unsustainable garden to driveway conversions. If Parking Control Areas are being expanded and the associated increased pressure to form private drives in increasing. Then it is essential that the City of Edinburgh’s guidance for parking in front gardens is up-to-date and fit for purpose. It also needs be consistent with other Council traffic and transport policies and initiatives.