Parking gets its own section because in past consultations, parking, or the lack of it, has been the issue that annoys our community most. In the 2016 CAP public consultation more of us complained about parking than any other problem.

In 2018 Stirling Council carried out a wide-ranging survey of parking in the town, focussing on 4 car parks (Station Road, The Meadows, Tesco, Glenartney Road, and the Kirk at Pearl Street) and on-street parking at A81 at Bridgend, A84 Leny Road and Main Street, Ancaster Road, Ancaster Square (north and south), Bracklinn Road, Cross Street, North and South Church Street, Pearl and Station road. In total these locations offered 874 parking spaces including 27 disabled parking bays. I have excluded Ancaster Square north and Station Road here because both locations are no-parking zones.

Here’s what they discovered:

Off-street parking

Glenartney Road -free to use – had the longest period of capacity occupation. Cars stayed in the car park for between 4-6 hours on weekdays and 6-8 hours on weekends. If you wanted to park here, you’d have to park before 9.30am, by 11am were no spaces available.

Station Road – pay and display between 8.45-17.30. offers 220 spaces, 6 disabled bays, 2 EV charging bays and 6 coach bays. Most cars stayed for up to 2 hours throughout the week with coaches staying between 2-4 hours. 45% of the car park was not used at all during the survey. Use of the space peaked at 29% during the week and 39% on weekends.

Meadows – pay and display between 8.45-17.30. Offers 183 spaces including 8 disabled bays. Cars stayed between 2-4 hours across the week and weekend with occupancy peaking at 37- 40% between 13.00-15.00 during the week. On weekends occupancy peaked at 67% between 13.00-14.00 falling off slowly until 17.00.

Tesco – free private car park. If you have ever pulled into the Tesco car park and found it full despite the store being less than ½ full, the findings in this survey explain why. Across the entire week, many of the cars stayed for up to 2 hours with multiple occupancy peaks. The busiest time, with 95% occupancy, being between 9.00-10.00 during weekdays and 14-15.00 on weekends.

Kirk Car Parking – free. Cars stayed on average between 6-8 hours on weekdays and 4-6 hours on weekends. On weekdays occupancy reaches 77% by 8.00am and 100% between 9-10.00am. On weekends occupancy starts at 54% rising to 100% between 9-10.00am. Stirling view this as a long- term car park.

On-street parking

Bridgend 65 spaces – 27% of cars are parked for more than 11 hours on weekdays, there is also a higher turnover of cars with 38% logged as short stays. On weekends 45% of cars stay for more than 11 hours. Occupancy was fairly even across the week at between 32% between 18-19.00 and 37% between 15-16.00.

Leny Road 44 spaces– the majority of cars stayed for a short period – up to 1 hour, across the whole week. Occupancy never reached more than 14% during the week and peaked at 30% on weekends, between 14-15.00.

Main Street 84 spaces – On weekdays 55% of cars stay less than 1 hour with the highest turnover being between: 12-28 Main Street, the block between Cross Street and Ancaster Square and opposite the Co-Op. Weekday occupancy starts at 55% and peaks at 71% between 14-15.00. During the weekend occupancy starts at 21%, reached 69% by 9.00 and peaked at 76% between 14-15.00.

Ancaster Road 78 spaces– On weekdays 24% of cars stay between 5-11 hours 55% stay between 1-3 hours and 21% stay for less than an hour. Occupancy is low during the week, starting at 20% and dropping to 9% by 19.00. On weekends 43% of cars stay between 5-11 hours with stays of up to one hour accounting for 31% and 21% staying between 1-3 hours. The weekend peak was between 14-15.00 when 30% of spaces were occupied.

Ancaster Square South 13 spaces. Probably best to avoid parking in Ancaster Square. During the week occupancy started at 92% and had two peaks – 138% by 9.00 and 161% between 12-13.00, meaning people were parking illegally. On weekends 80% of spaces were occupied at 7.00 with a peak of 138% between 14-14.30. Although (46%) most cars stayed for less than one hour, 25% stayed between 1-3 hours and 29% over 11 hours.

Bracklinn Road 19 spaces – On weekdays occupancy is 80% between 7-8.00 and rises to 86% between 10-11.00. Occupancy then falls until 17.00 when it peaks at 91% before falling to 86% at 19.00. 62% of the cars stay from less than one hour with 21% staying 1-3 hours and 18% staying between 5-11 hours. On weekends occupancy starts at 80% and falls until 16.30 when it hots 86%. 50% of cars stay less than one hour on weekends with 17% staying 1-5 hours and 33% staying 5-11 hours.

Cross Street 21 spaces – During the week occupancy starts at 86% and remains thereabouts between 12-14.00 when it hits 105%. The lowest period of occupancy is between 13-13.30 with 81% occupancy, peaking at 95% between 16-17.00. 41% of cars stayed between 1-5 hours with 37% staying 5-11 hours. Only 22% stayed less than one hour. On weekends capacity starts at 100% and remains thereabouts all day but peaking at 110% between 10-13.00. 47% of cars stayed 5-11 hours 33% stayed under one hour and 19% stayed 1-3 hours.

North Church Street 29 spaces – During the week occupancy starts at 76% and reaches 100% capacity by 9.00. This dips slightly to 90% between 13-15.00 before reaching 98% between 15.30-16.00. The majority of cars (52% ) stay for less than one hour with 25% staying 5-11 hours and 22% staying 1-5 hours. On weekends occupancy starts at 76%, reaches 93% by 10.00, 100% by 13.30 and peaks at 110% between 16-17.00. It then remains at 100% capacity until 18.00 before dropping to 83% by 19.00

Pearl Street 42 spaces – One of the few locations close to the main street with spare capacity. Weekdays start at 31% capacity rising to a peak of 62% between 11-12.00. 51% of cars stay for less than one hour, 36% stay 1-5 hours and 13% stay for 5-11 hours. On weekends occupancy is higher, peaking at 74% between 16-17.00 but otherwise capacity remains around 50%. Short stays account for 41% of cars with 34% staying 1-5 hours and 25% staying 5-11 hours.

South Church Street 28 spaces. Weekday occupancy started at 89%, peaked at 111% between 9-10.00 and 100% between 11-12.00 and 14.30-15.30. The majority (38%) of cars stayed 5-11 hours, 33% stayed 1-5 hours and 29% for under one hour. On weekends occupancy started at 100% and remained over that level throughout the day, peaking at 111% between 12-14.00 and 17-18.00. This level of occupancy was attributed, by Stirling, to primary school pick-ups and drop offs.


Stirling Council have yet to finalise this report but the draft findings are that:

Free off-street parking is under pressure but there is capacity, at all times, in other paid-for car parks.

Although Ancaster Square, Cross Street, North and South Church Street are at or over capacity throughout the week there is on-street parking available in Pearl Street

When asked about the possibility of free parking in off-street car parks, Stirling Council’s response was as follows

“Parking may be free in Aberfoyle for the moment, but it isn’t free in Stirling and won’t be soon in Balmaha.  Parking can be set at first ½ hour free to allow short shopping trips but if residents want any control over the Main Street, they have to recognise what the issues are.”

This will continue to be an issue in Callander – a question for the Local Place Plan is:

Do residents want 30 minutes free parking in the car parks at Station Road and the Meadows?

The follow up question would logically be - in return for 30 minutes free residents’ parking, would Stirling Council then extract a fee for on-street parking in and around the Main Street?