Parking in the Scottish Borders and DPE 2024: Business

Closed 31 May 2024

Opened 2 May 2024


Scottish Borders Council are keen to collect the views of businesses operating in the Borders on parking and parking enforcement in town centres across the region. For the avoidance of doubt this particular consultation is restricted to parking in town centres and this particular survey is for businesses only.  There is a separate survey for residents.

The statutory responsibility for the enforcement of on-street parking regulations in the Scottish Borders currently lies with Police Scotland and the Council has no direct remit in this regard. Legislation exists however that allows a local authority to apply to take over the enforcement of on-street parking from Police Scotland. This is known as Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE). DPE is a regime that enables a local authority to enforce its own parking policies, including the issuing of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) to motorists breaching parking controls in specified areas. It is a stated intention within the SBC Administration Policy Plan 2022 – 2027 that the costs and benefits of decriminalising parking in the Scottish Borders should be examined.

While DPE would clearly offer potential benefits to the Council, not least in being more in control of its own operations, that is unlikely to come cheaply. Previous investigations and recent examples from similar rural authorities would indicate that the cost implications associated with the application by a local authority to move to Decriminalised Parking Enforcement would be several hundred thousand pounds.

Previous indications have also shown that DPE would run at an annual loss in this area; unless it was accompanied by charging for on-street parking. A significant downside of relying on PCN income alone is that the more successful the scheme is in addressing parking issues the less income is received and the greater the revenue cost of operations becomes.

Bearing all this in mind the Council is keen to gauge public opinion on parking within town centres and the scale of any issues prior to embarking further down the route of DPE.  


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