COUNCIL car parking charges in Ayr town centre increase this week.

From Monday, July 2 the costs for public off-street car parks will increase making them in line with private car parks in the town centre.

Charges for designated on-street parking within the town centre’s two-hour and three-hour parking zones will go up from the same date.

But, new car parking charges for seafront car parks in Ayr, Prestwick and Troon will not be introduced before next year to reflect the statutory processes involved.

Work is also progressing on approved plans to introduce car park charges – where parking is currently free – in five Council car parks: Blackburn Road in Ayr, Bellevue Road in Prestwick, and South Beach at Royal Troon, Walker Hall and Italian Gardens in Troon.

Before charges can be introduced at these locations, the Council needs Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) in place.

Work is underway to progress these – including finalising the proposed pricing for each location, which will be based on anticipated usage levels and turnover.

The statutory timescales for the TRO process include a period of public consultation, which will provide the opportunity for local people to have their say on the proposed introduction of charges.

It’s anticipated the public consultation will take place later this year, with the consultation feedback and the TROs then considered by the Council’s Regulatory Panel.

The final locations and charges could change as a result.

Councillor Ian Cochrane, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Environment, said: “The changes to our car parking charges – whether increases or new charges – were put forward as part of our Balancing the Budget consultation and were supported by more than half the people who responded.

“They not only provide an important source of income and reduce the savings we have to find, but help us better manage our parking facilities and ensure our towns can be enjoyed by as many people as possible – local residents and visitors alike.”

Information on the draft TROs and the public consultation will be publicised when available.