Calls for urgent parking review

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TEMPERS flared at the Muirend and Netherlee Residents Association AGM this week as residents and businesses continue to clash with East Renfrewshire council over parking restrictions.

Enforcement was handed over from police to ERC wardens last month in a switch to decriminalised parking — but the council has been criticised for introducing it without reviewing restrictions dating back to the 1960s.

Some 120 people attended the meeting, and complained further about a proposal to turn Netherlee into a conservation area — which they say could limit opportunities to create parking on individual properties.

Barbara Rourke runs the Netherlee Parking Facebook page campaigning against “outdated” restrictions on Clarkston Road.

She told The Extra: “On the one hand we’re being told that we can’t park outside our houses. Now we’re told we won’t be able to create facilities to park on our own properties without applying for permission and paying fees.

“Since the new rules were introduced, I’m parking four blocks away and walking back with a pram and a young child, rather than risking a fine outside my door. It’s a nightmare.”

The suggested conservation area is part of the council’s local development plan — the public consultation for which closed yesterday.

And over in Clarkston, community groups and councillors have voiced concerns that stricter parking rules are harming local businesses.

Debra Clapham, chair of Clarkston Business Improvement District (BID), commented: “It’s baffling that the very council which supports us on one hand is stifling our efforts on the other.

“I have agreed to work with them in facilitating a speedy review process but it’s up to the council and councillors to ensure that short term measures are put in place to help our businesses in the meantime.”

A council spokesman recently told The Extra that “a review of orders will be undertaken once the scheme has been given reasonable time to settle in”.

However, Conservative councillor Stewart Miller has this week submitted a motion for an immediate review.

The Clarkston representative told The Extra: “It didn’t take too many brains to see that these restrictions were going to have an effect on the shops trade.

“The ERC cabinet passed the law to decriminalise parking about 18 months ago. That was the time to carry out a review, as existing restrictions had been in place since 1969 but never enforced.

“A review of parking decriminalisation must take place with immediate effect. We are asking for a relaxation restrictions until the review is finalised.

“I have been constantly told there will be a review in six months and that review will take another six months to complete — that is not good enough. It has to be done now.”