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Thurso car park for leased vehicles criticised by local community councillors

By Gordon Calder

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A car park for vehicles leased from a commercial company has been created in Thurso to the dismay of local community councillors.

They hit out after learning that a parking area has been set up in Riverside Road for Enterprise Car Club members, including Highland Council staff, and has been marked out with white lines and lettering.

The community council is unhappy with the move and the lack of information about the plan as well as the quality of the paintwork at the designated area. The paint is said to be coming away from the road surface already.

Members criticised the plan and the location at their public meeting on Tuesday night.

The car park in Riverside Road
The car park in Riverside Road

Vice-chair Thelma Mackenzie, did not think the location is the "safest place to park" and felt it would have been better at the back of the former council borough building while another suggestion was the local swimming pool which was said to "well lit" and fitted with electric charging points.

However, Thurso and northwest Caithness Highland councillor, Matthew Reiss, said it is cheaper for local authority staff to use the leased vehicles than to pay employees 45 pence a mile to use their own cars.

He pointed out that some employees travel 10,000 miles a year and said the council has a duty of care to its staff and to ensure they are driving in safe cars.

His fellow Thurso Highland councillor, Donnie Mackay, said it was only when the white lines and lettering were painted on the road that the purpose of the facility became known to the public. Otherwise no one would have been aware of what was happening, he stated.

Councillor Mackay was also unhappy with the location for the vehicles and said a better site would have been at the railway station.

The Enterprise Car Club provides a range of fuel-efficient, hybrid and electric vehicles for rent across the UK. They can be collected picking it up from a street, train station, car park or Enterprise Rent-A-Car Branch. Membership includes fuel, servicing, MOTs, breakdown and insurance cover.

Established as CityCarClub in 2000, it was acquired by the American company Enterprise Rent-A-Car in 2015, and renamed Enterprise Car Club in 2016.

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