Campaigners frustrated as council submit plans for new car parking in Dumfries

  • Watch as Bruce McKenzie goes to Dumfries to speak to environmental campaigners about a proposed new car park

Campaigners in Dumfries are frustrated over plans to create a new car park in the town.

The site proposed by Dumfries and Galloway Council would replace spaces that could be lost on the Whitesands but the wider flood scheme has been put on hold by the new council administration.

Local environmental campaigners believe that a new car park would not encourage people to take public transport, walk or cycle into the town.

Environmental campaigner Sally Hinchcliffe, said: “Regardless of whether the flood defences go ahead or not they still want to turn this into more car parking. That is adding to car congestion in the town and it will drive more traffic and it is subsidising people who drive by providing free parking over things like the bus service or cycling and walking facilities.

"It just seems to us to be the wrong way round.

“We have got policy to reduce the number of car kilometres driven. So the last thing we should be doing is providing more parking in the town."

The new proposed car parking spaces next to the River Nith is part of a new flood defence scheme which has proved controversial and had many delays.

Local campaigners say they are at odds with a council which declared a "climate emergency" nearly four years ago.

A Dumfries and Galloway council statement said: "This planning application does not seek to make any changes to the confirmed scheme, only to the potential timing of delivering alternative parking.”

However, Gilbert West for Dumfries Cycling believes: "Every bit of car infrastructure adds another barrier to people.

"It is an area that is used by kids for getting to school. It is a single lane road and you are going to have more cars coming in and out all of the time if this does go ahead. It shows a lack of imagination for the space as well.

"This could be a decent park, it is near moat brae and it can fit in with the tourist infrastructure. There is just more you can do than putting down some tarmac."

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