CONCERNS have been raised that a barrier car parking system could come unstuck by glue vandals if it is implemented in Peebles.

A Peebles Parking Working Group has been meeting to consider whether to introduce car parking charges at Kingsmeadows, Neidpath and other town car parks.

At a meeting on Tuesday (February 21), members were given estimates of costs for the potential car parking systems.

But they were warned that a barrier system brought with it a specific risk – because of the chances of it being glued up to enable free passage through.

Members were told that it would cost almost £63,000 to set up a barrier system, with blockades at the entrance and exit, with an additional ongoing annual fee of around £5,000.

A pay and display cash machine would cost £26,200 – with ongoing costs, including employment of a member of staff and vehicle maintenance, at £24,345 annually.

A two-machine pay and display system with card payment would cost an initial £33,700 with annual fees of £34k.

Philippa Gilhooly, SBC’s team leader for traffic and road safety management, said: “Our parking attendants are at present working to capacity, so if you were looking to run the Common Good car parks as income-generating then there would be an additional staff fee for that and there would be ongoing maintenance on top of that.

“One of the things we are probably not very keen on is using a barrier system because what you run the risk of is somebody glueing them up, if you can believe it or not. It’s just one of those things that occasionally happens, sadly.”

Committee member George Ramsay said: “I don’t think the barrier system would work, especially at Haylodge if there are school kids and parents picking up their kids and they have a barrier going up and down, that definitely wouldn’t work and lead to a backlog. But then again we can’t rule out charges.”

Councillor Julie Pirone added: “My inclination is not to have a barrier system.”

Committee chair councillor Robin Tatler said: “We haven’t decided whether it is a good thing whether to charge at Kingsmeadows car park but this is useful information. That will go into the mix when we finally decide on our recommendations.”