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Nairn provost promises review of parking permits at town's harbour


By Donald Wilson


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Nairn Provost Laurie Fraser and Bob Gordon at the permit holder marked bays.
Nairn Provost Laurie Fraser and Bob Gordon at the permit holder marked bays.

Nairn’s provost has promised a review of the implementation of parking permits at the harbour for boat users only.

Laurie Fraser said the permits were introduced without consulting local councillors and concerns have been raised the bays are now grossly under-used, impacting on local businesses.

“This happened without the knowledge of councillors,” he said.

“An officer came through and had a meeting with some boat owners at the sailing club and they have gone and put out permits, and the council erected ‘permit only’ signs on a long stretch of roadway along the harbour basin.

“Since these signs went up no one is parking there and it’s effectively a loss of valuable parking space to the public who want to use our harbour and our beach and of course customers who use the local restaurant and café businesses at the harbour.

“Visitors may arrive and just leave because they cannot find a parking space.”

Former Highlands and Islands fire chief Bob Gordon, a member of Nairn Sailing Club, described the move as “overkill”.

“ I welcome the provost’s move to have this matter investigated. It should not have happened,” he said.

“I have been a boat owner for 40 years and frequently take my car to the harbour and park wherever I can.

“Sometimes that’s close to my boat and on other occasions it’s not.

“I’m not in favour of the permit holder only provision on the west side of the harbour. Many times there are very few cars parked, especially at night.

“We are a visitor town and this is an area where many people just want to come down, have a look at the harbour or maybe stop for a coffee or meal at the Basil café or Sundancer restaurant.

“Since the permit holder bays were introduced you can go down there any time of the day and find them lying empty.

“Every wasted space is depriving these businesses of custom.

“I know of one disabled lady who wanted to go for a short walk at the harbour. There were no disabled bays available and she parked in a motorhome bay and was fined £60. She contacted the council and was told if she paid promptly it would be reduced to £30. She did, but it’s totally unacceptable.

Nairn Sailing Club commodore Jimmy Clark said: “We have accepted the inevitable.

“We were consulted and were assured there would be bays for the other harbour users like the kayakers and skiffs to the north of the harbour basin.

“It’s useful to have priority if we are loading stuff on to boats but I appreciate it does reduce the limited parking there for people who just want to visit the harbour briefly or use the local restaurants.”

Regatta at harbour to mark jubilee

A council spokesman said councillors were briefed on the scope of the scheme through the Nairnshire area committee chairperson and ward manager following consultation with harbour users and the sailing club.

“Permit holder only spaces have been provided to support harbour users following their input – the effectiveness of these parking spaces will be monitored and adapted if required,” he said.


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