PEOPLE power in Peebles has won the day after plans to introduce parking charges bit the dust.

The council set up a working group three years ago to consider parking charges at the East Station/Edinburgh Road and Kingsmeadows car parks.

But the introduction of charges was opposed by Peebles Retailer Association (PRA). The group campaigned against the proposals, expressing the view that they would be a deterrent to people shopping in the town.

Now that view has won the day after a second public consultation found overwhelming support among the public for retaining the status quo.

There were an impressive 1,786 responses to the consultation.

And those in support of the existing one-day only Saturday parking charges at East Station were just over 1,300 – 76 per cent.

Meanwhile, 77 per cent were against the introduction of charges at Kingsmeadows.

The parking group’s chair, Tweeddale East councillor Robin Tatler, said: “That is a phenomenal response in terms of a consultation exercise, I don’t think we’ve had anything that has had quite that amount of response.

“It is fairly clear and fairly decisive that people are in favour of keeping things as they are in terms of the one day charging, and it is also fairly clear that people don’t want us to charge at Kingsmeadows.

“So my view would be that that is a very clear decision there and we now update the report to the area partnership to say that this is the view that we have and that there should be no change in terms of the parking regime at East Station Car Park, and that we shouldn’t be charging at Kingsmeadows.”

Fellow ward councillor Julie Pirone added: “It was a phenomenal response to the parking survey and the people have spoken. We have to do what everybody in the town and outwith would want us to do given the current cost-of-living crisis, so that has to be the recommendation going forward.

“I’d like to congratulate the traders going forward on the number of responses that they got, because I know they felt passionately on what we were discussing and what we were trying to make a decision on, so they should be congratulated on the campaign that they ran.”