Street parking in Edinburgh’s New Town, and at the East and West End of Princes Street, will be free after 5pm during the Festival this year as part of a campaign called Alive After 5. The aim is to encourage more locals to travel into town, to take in shows at the Festival and shop at city centre stores, many of which will stay open a little later during August too.
As well as encouraging more people into the city in general during the Festival month, the Alive After 5 campaign will specifically bring people to the New Town part of the city, where plenty of Festival activity takes place, from the Fringe, Art Festival, International Festival and Book Festival, but which has been overshadowed somewhat by the Old Town in recent years, as most of the major Fringe venues have located to that area.
The free parking scheme kicks off on 6 Aug (so won’t be there for the first few days of the Fringe) and will run through to 1 Sep (just before the end of the International Festival), and will cost in the region of £55,000 in lost parking income, a figure that will be met by the three bodies running the initiative, Edinburgh City Council, Marketing Edinburgh and Essential Edinburgh.
Announcing the scheme, Lesley Hinds of Edinburgh City Council told reporters: “Edinburgh has a superb range of shops, restaurants and Festival venues, and this is all about helping people to spend more time enjoying them during a period which is so important to businesses. While the free parking should encourage visitors to the city centre, there’s also great public transport available, including frequent buses and trains, and several park and ride sites. We know there is pressure on Edinburgh businesses and we are committed to various initiatives that will support them. I’m also delighted that so many firms have put their backing to this campaign, ranging from small independent traders to household names such as John Lewis, Harvey Nichols and Primark”.
The streets where parking with be gratis include: 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, 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, Forth Street, Little King Street, Picardy Place, Register Place, Union Street, Waterloo Place, Annandale Street, 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.