WAITING GAME OVER LINLITHGOW PARKING

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a row over parking restrictions has blown up again with news that Linlithgow could be one of the first towns in West Lothian to have a resident parking scheme.

Comments made at last week’s Linlithgow Community Council meeting demonstrated the strength of feeling against the council decision in March to postpone an experimental traffic order for Clarendon Road and Clarendon Crescent, preventing parking between 10am and 11am from Monday to Friday.

Provost Tom Kerr said: “I cannot fathom why this went against officer’s recommendations. Six objections managed to stop what 80 wanted to trial for 12 months. It was the wrong decision taken for the wrong reasons. There was police backing for the trial and 75 per cent backing from residents.”

The traffic order had been discussed for over a year after residents complained about commuter cars clogging up the Clarendon Road and Manse Road area.

Jack Thomson, a Clarendon Road resident, said: “It was an abominable decision. We have been let down badly.”

It was envisaged the traffic order would work in tandem with the new 77-space car park at Linlithgow cricket club.

For the first time, the council is now looking at a West Lothian wide residents permit scheme that could be trialled in Linlithgow. Council officers have been asked to prepare details on the proposal for a meeting of the development and transport policy development and scrutiny panel later in the Autumn.

Linlithgow councillor Martyn Day is also frustrated at delays but is pursuing the idea of a permit scheme.

He said: “A permit scheme could have been done two years ago. I think Linlithgow will gain out of this and it could bring in a scheme that could satisfy everybody. We can do something now that works for the long term.

“It’s not off the agenda and it will be going to the policy committee later this year.”

But fellow councillor Tom Conn is not convinced.

He said: “A permit scheme would have to be given to everybody to make it work. Residents have spoken to me and I don’t think they want a permit scheme.

“The traffic order was experimental, so we could pull it if it wasn’t working. I don’t think a permit scheme is the answer to the residents’ problem. It would be all day, not just one hour. Everybody is frustrated by the decision.

“Is there a demand in other parts of West Lothian for resident’s permits?”

When the council was asked how much the scheme would cost residents, a spokesperson said it was far too early to say.

Under council guidelines, the waiting restrictions proposal cannot be reviewed again for another six months.