Council workers across East Dunbartonshire up in arms over parking charge ‘tax’

Makeshift council carpark at Southbank Marina
Makeshift council carpark at Southbank Marina

A new parking regime being introduced by East Dunbartonshire Council could see employees hit in the pocket by £50 a week, it’s been claimed.

The council plans to introduce charges for town centre car parking across the district next year - in order to pay for traffic wardens to patrol the streets.

Motorists will be able to park for free for up to two hours before escalating fees kick in - with a maximum of £5 for a day’s parking.

The plans have sparked fears that those working for the council - the area’s biggest employer - will end up needing to pay for parking every day.

Currently many council workers park in a makeshift car park in Southbank Road, Kirkintilloch, near the authority’s marina HQ.

But this will soon become a building site when construction work on the new Lairdsland School begins next year.

Meanwhile, the large car park at the former council headquaters at Tom Johnston House is currently up for sale to developers.

Many workers are now questioning whether they will be forced to use the paid car parks - equivilent to a wage cut of £2,600 a year.

One disgruntled employee said: “It would be a disaster for many people.

“It’s already tough enough with petrol prices rising, but now they’re going to make us pay just to come into work - it’s effectively a tax on us.

“This is something which will really put people off coming to work for East Dunbartonshire Council. I’ve already heard of some people who are thinking about looking for another job.

“I know it would be better if we used public transport and left the car at home, but that’s just not practical for many people. Kirkintilloch isn’t particularly well linked by bus or train.”

Meanwhile, others are concerned that residential streets could become gridlocked by council employees hunting for free parking.

One Southbank Drive resident said: “We already have a real problem with residents getting parked outside their own homes.

“It’s just going to get worse when these charges come in.”

Thomas Glen, the council’s director of development and regeneration, said: “There are no plans at present to charge for car parks which are exclusively for council operational premises, such as the car park at Broomhill, Hilton Depot and schools.

“Employees who use public car parks such as that at the Community Hub in Kirkintilloch will be subject to the same proposed free parking periods and charging regimes as other car park users.”

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