Inverness: industry must respect the rules

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CPT welcomes news of Ardross Street bays being made permanent but warns drivers not to take liberties

Coach drivers are being asked to respect rules on Picking Up and Setting Down (PUSD) in Inverness after temporary arrangements in the city centre were made permanent.

It comes after heated discussions at a Highland Council (HC) meeting last week between councillors over making temporary bays on Ardross Street near the cathedral, a permanent PUSD point.

The council’s City Manager, David Haas, revealed at the City of Inverness area committee meeting last Tuesday that coach drivers had threatened to avoid the city unless a long-term parking solution was found.

The plan to make the arrangement permanent was supported by a majority of councillors.

Other proposed sites at Church Street, Bank Street, the car parks at Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew and Morrison’s Supermarket were ruled out. Coaches will be allowed to park on Ardross Street between 1000 and 1700hrs – staying no longer than two hours. To accommodate 12 coaches, 35 car parking spaces will be lost. A person will be employed by HC to act as a Coach Ambassador to ensure the parking runs smoothly, initially financed by the Inverness Common Good Fund.

Jeremy Tinsley, CPT General Manager for Scotland told CBW: “The issue stems back to three years ago when coaches would arrive en masse with cruise ship passengers from Invergordon. With no official coach parking, difficulties arose. Thankfully, the local authority recognised this, so orders were granted for coaching parking on four streets. However, about six months later, flood alleviation work on the river Ness cut that provision. After a meeting between the CPT and the council, Ardross Street was agreed as the PUSD point for a maximum of two hours. Longer stays, including overnight parking would be available at D&E Coaches’ depot, which has seen investment in secure parking and accompanying facilities.

“That’s been the arrangement for the past 18 months. The flood scheme work was due to finish in the autumn, but there is still some work outstanding. For the last few months we’ve been trying to ascertain the future arrangements.” He concluded: “Ardross Street is the most suitable location for coach parking in Inverness and we welcome HC’s decision to make the coach parking arrangements permanent. However, drivers must be aware that the street is residential with many B&Bs located along its length – it must not be used for long-term or overnight parking. Engines must also be switched off.”