Pen your thoughts on parking hike

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A SHAWLANDS business owner is organising a petition in protest of Glasgow city council’s increase of on-street parking charges on Kilmarnock Road.

Parking on the main street will quadruple — the first increase since 2004 — as of December 6, rising from 20 pence per hour to 80p.

Shawlands and Strathbungo community council, residents and business owners hit out at GCC last week, commenting that the move contradicted the £3.3 million Shawlands Town Centre Action Plan approved last year in a bid to regenerate the area.

After reading the story in last week’s Extra, Kathryn Hamilton — owner of Eat Cafe on Kilmarnock Road — decided to take action.

Writing on the cafe’s Facebook page, she said: “This illustrates the complete lack of dialogue the council has with local businesses and residents.

“Are they completely oblivious to the impact such initiatives have on the high street?”

This week, Kathryn told The Extra: “If anything, parking should be free in Shawlands.

“I feel like I have to do something to say I’m not happy about this, and I don’t think other businesses and residents will be either. It can only have a negative effect on the area.”

The petition plan is in early stages — but an online poll shows signs of support among Extra readers.

Twitter follower Dave Murray said: “We have a voice and it should be heard.

“We may not get the charges decreased but surely they must hear the people.”

Cathcart MSP James Dornan has also expressed concerns, commenting: “We need to make Shawlands a more attractive and vibrant area. Making car parking more expensive will not help.” (Letters, p41).

A council spokesman responded: “Parking charges in many areas of Glasgow have not increased for a number of years.

“These controls exist to support the city’s transport network. They balance the need to protect residents and businesses from all-day commuter parking and availability of short-term parking.

“All revenue is reinvested in Glasgow’s transport network, including maintaining parking infrastructure and enforcing controls.

“Without these charges, these costs would fall to the city tax payers.”