City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Free Festival Parking for Edinburgh Motorists


By edg - Posted on 06 July 2012

Parking in the city centre will be free from 5pm during this Summer's Edinburgh Festivals, from 6 August until 1 September.

The free festival parking initiative is being introduced on roads in the city centre, west end and east end (see list of roads involved below).

The initiative is part of the "Alive After 5" campaign, run jointly by the City of Edinburgh Council, Marketing Edinburgh and Essential Edinburgh and is expected to benefit central businesses, from small independent traders to large stores such as John Lewis, Harvey Nichols and Primark. Many businesses will extend their hours until 7pm.

The lost income from the free parking is expected to be around £55,000 which will be met by the three partners.

If the initiative is deemed successful it could be repeated during December for the Winter Festivals.

“We know there is pressure on Edinburgh businesses and we are committed to various initiatives that will support them," said Cllr Lesley Hinds, the city's Transport leader.

While the increase in the number of cars will mean cycling in the city centre is a less attractive option, Hinds expects that the free parking initiative will attract more visitors and encourage workers to stay longer at the end of the workday.

Hinds adds, “there's also great public transport available, including frequent buses and trains, and several park and ride sites."

Lucy Bird, Chief Executive of Marketing Edinburgh said recent experience in Manchester and Newcastle shows that free parking is good for business.

"We could see up to an extra 20% footfall in the city centre and we're really confident that this will help the shops that are extending their hours as well other traders,” she said.

Andy Neal, Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh said: "Given experiences elsewhere, we expect the additional opening time to help trading, in particular to be busier than early morning. Anything which helps retailers gain access to more trading opportunities has to be welcomed, particularly when it also aids the general ambience of the city centre."

Roads With Free Festival Parking

City Centre (normally 6.30pm finish)

  • Charlotte Square
  • Frederick Street
  • George Street
  • Glenfinlas Street
  • Hill Street
  • North Castle Street
  • North St Andrew Street
  • Queen Street
  • St Andrew Square
  • St Colme Street
  • Thistle Street
  • Young Street

West End (normally 6.30pm finish)

  • Ainslie Place
  • Alva Street
  • Atholl Crescent
  • Chester Street
  • Coates Crescent
  • Drumsheugh Gardens
  • Great Stuart Street
  • Manor Place
  • Melville Crescent
  • Melville Street
  • Palmerston Place
  • Randolph Lane
  • Randolph Place
  • Rothesay Place
  • Rothesay Terrace
  • Rutland Square
  • Rutland Street
  • Stafford Street
  • Walker Street
  • William Street

East End (normally 6.30pm finish)

  • Forth Street
  • Little King Street
  • Picardy Place
  • Register Place
  • Union Street
  • Waterloo Place

East End (normally 5.30pm finish)

  • Barony Place
  • Barony Street
  • Broughton Place
  • Brunswick Road
  • Brunswick Street
  • Elm Row
  • Gayfield Square
  • Gayfield Street
  • Hart Street
  • Hopetoun Crescent
  • McDonald Road
  • Montgomery Street
  • New Broughton
  • Windsor Street

Roads within the area not included:

  • Broughton Street (peak hour loading prohibitions; bays not available between 4.00pm and 6.30pm)
  • Leith Walk (“Greenway” parking bays, no charge)
  • North of McDonald Road in the east end (there are no parking charges there).

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Not sure, Andy Neal, how adding more pollution and noise equates to helping the "general ambience of the city centre".