CREATING a park and ride or introducing parking charges in Tranent has been suggested by a local councillor to help prevent illegally parked cars and reduce traffic volume.

Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry ward councillor Lee-Anne Menzies said that the volume of cars in the town was “unacceptable” and believed introducing car parking fees would help.

She said: “I have looked into cases in England and evidence shows that, when you introduce car parking fees, the number of people taking their cars places when they don’t need to decreases.

“Our towns are not built for the number of cars we currently have on the road. I totally understand we need cars – I need my car – but something has to be done to reduce traffic in Tranent.

“I think car parking charges or a park and ride facility would help reduce this”.

And she added: “It [the park and ride] would have to be in an area that is accessible for public transport and makes accessing areas like High Street easier. Where that is, I am not sure, but something needs to be done.

Parking fines increase

“Research shows parking charges benefit small businesses too. When people drive along High Street and can’t get parked, they’re just going to go home or go to a supermarket rather than use a local shop.

“We’ve had Bisset and Steedman leave Tranent because customers couldn’t get parked. This is only going to get worse if something is not done.”

Ms Menzies also backed the council’s decision to increase parking fines to £100.

READ MOREParking fines in East Lothian to go up to £100

East Lothian Council’s cabinet agreed last month to introduce the maximum fine for illegal parking, despite admitting that the move would be “unpopular”.

Ms Menzies (SNP) said that, despite the decision being made by an all-Labour cabinet, she fully backed the fine increase.

She said: “This decision was made by the cabinet, all positions held by Labour councillors. However, I will not hide behind that.

“I am in full support of this rise. If you’re going to park illegally or inconsiderately, the fine is there to deter you.

“Too many are willing to take the risk that they won’t get caught. I hope this rise in fines helps to get those drivers to make the right decision.

“I have always said I will do politics differently. That means not pointing fingers for political gain and it means taking collective responsibility. So I’m happy to publicly endorse this policy.

“It’s not nice getting a parking fine – I’ve had a few – but it’s also disgraceful that a small minority of drivers just don’t seem to care about the negative impact they have on their communities and other road and footpath users.”

'Something has to be done'

Mike Falconer, chair of Tranent and Elphinstone Community Council, backed the idea of a park and ride facility in Tranent.

He said: “There is a clear feeling in Tranent that something has to be done about the volume of parking.

“Whether an increase in parking fines will help solve this I couldn’t comment because we don’t know yet.

“Any increase in fines will not be popular with people. But something has to be done.

“Personally, I am in full support of a park and ride facility in Tranent to help manage traffic and make the town better to drive in.”

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “A comprehensive review of North Berwick parking management is currently under way.

“This process will be extended to the other five towns in due course, where local people, businesses and visitors will be given the opportunity to contribute to the provision of future parking services.”