THE Extra is launching a campaign calling on Glasgow city council to review parking charges in Shawlands.
As reported last week, residents, businesses and local politicians have hit out at GCC for increasing on-street parking charges on Kilmarnock Road by 300 per cent.
As of tomorrow (December 6), parking on the busy main street will cost 80p per hour instead of the current 20p.
Shawlands and Strathbungo community council, Shawlands Business Association and councillors in Pollokshields and Langside have voiced objections, stating that the move contradicts the £3.3 million Shawlands Town Centre Action Plan approved by GCC last year.
The petition reads: “We the undersigned call on Glasgow city council to a) review its on-street parking policy in Shawlands, and b) actively engage the opinions of stakeholders in Shawlands regarding future proposals.”
Shawlands Business Association (SBA) met this week to draft a letter to GCC, urging a review of the increase, which they say “flies in the face of everything which we, and we thought the council, are trying to achieve”.
In a letter to The Extra (p28), SBA adds: “While the increased parking charges may not seem excessive, they will have a major impact on already struggling businesses.
“What we need is a roots and branch reappraisal of parking policy to provide a balance of charges versus accessibility — not a blatant revenue-raising exercise which will be detrimental to the businesses and customers that the council claims to be supporting.”
Langside councillor Susan Aitken and Pollokshields councillors David Meikle, Norman MacLeod and bailie Hanif Raja have voiced support for The Extra’s Parking Mad campaign.
Councillor Aitken said: “I don’t object in principle to parking charges being increased over time, but to do it by this much and with such little warning, seems to put at risk the money that the council is investing, through the Town Centre Action Plan, to regenerate Shawlands.
“There seems to be no clear charging policy in Glasgow — charges for certain services have gone for years without change and are now being bumped up without consideration for the impact it will have on service users.”
Councillor MacLeod added that it was an “indelicate” handling of the situation in Shawlands, and bailie Raja commented: “I feel the trade in Shawlands is drifting away and decreasing parking charges would hopefully encourage trading growth.”
Extra readers have also shared their objections to the price hike on Facebook and Twitter.
Susan Anne Crichton said: “We would gladly sign a petition as we agree Shawlands needs support to generate business and customers.
“A hike in charges is detrimental to this and outrageous.”
Twitter follower @bobofinch commented: “Shawlands is already empty. 80p to shop in charity shops/discount stores? Cynical GCC exploiting the few who do park.”
Dave Murray added: “A rundown area, run down shops, poor parking lines — the money won’t be invested in Shawlands. 20p is the right price. I think it’s a fair charge for a substandard shopping area.”
A GCC spokesman responded: “It’s important for businesses that parking bays are available for short term parking to those who require access to specific locations — the tariff is set to allow this with car parks available for longer stays.”
The petition is available to sign here, at change.org.