People have been urged to have their say on a north-east council’s controversial plans to scrap free parking periods.
Measures which could be launched in August would see the free 30-minute parking period removed at pay and display car parks in Aberdeenshire.
Instead, drivers would be charged 50p for the first hour, which would rise to £1 for the second.
Stays between two and five hours would be charged at a rate of £2 and more than five hours would cost £5.
On-street parking outwith pay and display car parks will remain free.
Councillors passed a motion from deputy leader Peter Argyle at full council in January for the proposals to go to public consultation. Opposition councillors argued the new scheme was “a slap in the face for businesses and residents across Aberdeenshire”.
Statutory consultees have been contacted by the local authority about the scheme, which is aiming to cover the £211,000 projected loss in revenue for 2019 as a result of free parking periods.
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Victoria Withy, chairwoman of the Inverurie Business Association (IBA), said the group had concerns about the town losing trade due to the move.
She said: “We encourage everyone to submit their comments and thoughts on this issue to Aberdeenshire Council through the consultation portal.
“The IBA is currently running a Facebook poll asking people how much they spent in Inverurie during their last 30 minutes of free parking.
“Our concern is people will stop popping into local shops multiple times a week, and only come in once a week for longer – or stop at a large supermarket or other outlet on their way home – where parking is free.”
Victoria added: “If people don’t voice their concerns and thoughts on this, or any other issue Aberdeenshire Council holds a consultation on, then the public and business voices won’t be heard.”
The local authority is urging residents to view the off-street parking order before submitting their views.
A council spokesman said: “In January, changes to car-parking tariffs were discussed by the full council, where local councillors had a full and wide-ranging debate on the issues.
“It was agreed the proposed tariffs would be included as a schedule to go out with an Aberdeenshire-wide off-street parking order for statutory and public consultation.”
Residents have until April 15 to submit their views.