NORTH Ayrshire Council is taking over parking enforcement duties from the police - and are introducing charges at some local car parks.

It will mean the return of council parking attendants to the streets.

Plans announced on Monday will see parking charges introduced at the following:

Irvine – Kirkgate, West Road and East Road. This affects only about 10 per cent of available spaces in Irvine town centre with long stay car parks still free to use.

Kilwinning – Almswall Road and Oxenward. Long stay parking will continue to be free at nearby Woodwynd East and West.

The decision to decriminalise parking and introduce a tariff for a small number of car parks was taken at a meeting of Full Council in September 2019.

The project was given lower priority while dealing with Covid-19 but is now ready to move back up a gear.

Councillor Scott Davidson, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “Over the past few years, officers have considered how best these can be implemented to bring benefits to shoppers and businesses while also tackling rogue parking in our town centres.

“By introducing charges in a small number of key town centre car parks, it will hopefully ensure a greater turnover of parking, making it easier for people to park, which will be good for business. Our analysis shows that many of the town centre car park spaces are occupied by workers meaning they are occupied all day.

“We hope that those who use all-day parking will take advantage of the nearby long-stay car parks which will remain free, allowing easier access for shoppers and visitors.”

The charges are: an hour: £1.50; Two hours £2; 4 hours: £3.50. All day parking will not be permitted.