Consultation to begin on parking charges

Will new charges leave car parks empty?
Will new charges leave car parks empty?

Plans to introduce charges in a number of car parks across East Renfrewshire, as part of a drive to improve accessibility in the area’s town centres, have been agreed.

A number of car parks have been identified as benefitting from charges being implemented, with the proposals agreed by councillors at a meeting last Wednesday night (October 26).

Key parking areas across East Renfrewshire are currently in extremely high demand due to the range of competing needs including commuting, shopping and access to leisure facilities.

Effectively managing the parking in these areas will improve the turnover of spaces within off street car parks, allowing better access to parking for short-stay leisure and shopping.

Council Leader Jim Fletcher said: “It is important that our town centres are vibrant, thriving places to visit. Providing parking facilities which allow easy access to shops and local businesses is essential and the introduction of these new plans would increase the turnover of spaces in our car parks, making it more straightforward to get a space when needed.

“In addition, as all councils face up to the challenges of the increasingly tough financial climate, these modest charges will also allow us to protect frontline services by using the income generated to offset any potential reductions in other service areas.”

Consultation with the public on these proposals will now begin, allowing everyone to have their say before the final decision is made by councillors later in the year.

It is proposed to introduce charges of up to 50p for short visits (0-2 hours), with all-day parking costing a maximum of £4. The Foundry and Broom Shops car parks would remain free for short-stay use.

The charges would apply Monday to Saturday from 8am-6pm, although there would be no charges for holders of valid Blue Badges.

The car parks where charges would be introduced are The Foundry, Barrhead; Cochrane Street, Barrhead; Broomburn shops, Newton Mearns; Clarkston Goods YardOverlee, Clarkston; Moray, Clarkston; Merrylee Place, Giffnock; Station Road, Giffnock.

Councillor Tony Buchanan, Convener for Infrastructure and Growth, said: “East Renfrewshire is one of the few places in the wider Glasgow area which does not charge for off-street parking and many of our existing spaces are taken all day by only one vehicle.

“It is even the case that commuters from out-with East Renfrewshire travel here to utilise our car parks. This means there are fewer spaces available for short stay shopping and leisure uses. By introducing these charges it will help to alleviate the pressure on spaces in some of the key locations in our town centres.”

It has also been agreed to update the regulations in all council car parks, which will allow issues such as the parking of mobile homes, carrying out vehicle repairs within the car park or any other nuisance such as obstruction, to be dealt with more effectively by issuing penalty charges where appropriate.

The consultation on these proposals will begin as soon as possible.