Clarkston calls for parking review

Photo courtesy of Clarkston.com.
Photo courtesy of Clarkston.com.

CALLS for East Renfrewshire council to review old parking rules continue to flood in amid concerns over the recent decriminalisation of offences.

Enforcement of parking regulations was handed over from community police to East Renfrewshire council on April 2.

Many residents – including the Netherlee Parking Facebook campaigners featured in The Extra recently – have complained about a lack of review before the change, meaning that old restrictions dating back to the 1960s could be enforced.

Clarkston community council joined the debate at its Monday meeting, discussing the impact on the area’s high street and small businesses.

Community councillor Kirsten Oswald told The Extra: “We’re very concerned. There’s a lack of clarity, and the timescale of six months which has been quoted for review is unacceptable and potentially damaging to Clarkston.

“The impact on local shopping could be bad if people can’t stop their cars.

“We would wish the council to act sooner, and to give some clarity – and for the views of locals to be considered.”

Current restrictions mean that the main street in Clarkston is a parking-free zone at peak times Monday to Saturday.

Although this has long been the case, there are fears that ERC wardens are more likely to issue £60 fines than the previous police enforcers.

Clarkston BID (Business Improvement District) chair Debra Clapham commented: “The by-laws which exist are from the 60s – but Clarkston is a very different place than it was at that time.

“The motorways weren’t there so this area was the main thoroughfare through East Ren, and all that has changed. There is now no reason why there can’t be sensible parking along the main street.

“Nobody is against there being restrictions – the situation we’ve had in the past, where people park outside shops all day, isn’t good for trade either. But we need a clear answer on what the restrictions are and how they affect shoppers.

“We’re looking for a review to happen quickly, and for it to be sensible.”

In this week’s online poll, we asked readers: are you in favour of the decriminalised parking system?

The results showed 92 per cent of respondents saying no, a review of old parking restrictions needs to happen before ERC can hand out fines – just five people (eight per cent) voted yes, parking is a problem.

ERC councillor Vincent Waters this week tweeted that a review of the restrictions is due in autumn.

A council spokesman added: “A review of orders will be undertaken once the scheme has been given a reasonable time to settle in.

“This period of time will allow us to take stock of the issues that are reported to us within each local area.”