PARKING marshals have been praised after starting work in Largs to help direct motorists to free spaces in the town.

The idea was the brainchild of independent councillor Ian Murdoch to help ease congestion in the town and help visitors find somewhere to park without a time consuming search.

Cllr. Murdoch says there has been plenty of plaudits for the new initiative from members of the public on community social media pages.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “The provision of marshals is being tried to help alleviate traffic congestion and parking challenges over the busy summer.

"They were on patrol during peak times over the weekend and did a good job in managing the volume of traffic and assisting people in finding appropriate parking spaces.

“With so many visitors coming into the town at the one time, there are always going to be challenges.

"But we were happy with how it went and they will be back out again this weekend.

"We will learn as we go along – when the busiest periods are and where people visit first - and we will try and tailor our operation to make it as efficient as possible.

“Largs is a fantastic place to live and visit – it is a huge asset to North Ayrshire.

"We hope to make a difference and make it as easy as possible for people to enjoy the fantastic amenities.”

A total of four marshals are working from 11am- 3pm over both days of the weekend.

Cllr Murdoch said: "One of my priorities since being elected last year has been to try and resolve Largs' historic parking problems.

"Over the last year I've put forward an idea to use street ambassadors/parking marshals to direct visitors to the many spaces throughout the town that are never used.

"There are spaces available which are only a few minutes walk from the prom and the town centre that visitors are not aware of.

"Visiting drivers are too focused on the Main Street and seafront car park.

"As well as directing people to available parking, the ambassadors will also provide basic tourist information about events and places to visit in Largs and Cumbrae."

Speaking at the recent community council meeting, Cllr. Murdoch said: "There are only three parking marshals in force at the moment - there is one at the seafront car park, and there is one at the Brooksby area, and there is one who floats around the whole town and provides general assistance and help direct people to spaces.

"It seems to be working reasonably well at the moment. I am hoping for next season we will have at least four or five of them, who are directing people before they get to the seafront car park as you get some people who are quite happy to go there and queue, but I think if we could get to them earlier, we can get them parked in Charles Street, or somewhere further up.

"We will see how it goes next year, but this year it has certainly made a difference."

Acting chairman Val Lundie asked if it was an idea to provide signage to alert motorists that parking marshals will help direct them to available spaces.

Cllr. Murdoch said he would be asking for further promotional signage as it progresses.