1,500 sign petition against rise in fees for council-run car parks

Businesses may be forced to pay extra taxes. Picture Paul McSherry.
Businesses may be forced to pay extra taxes. Picture Paul McSherry.

Campaigners have stepped up their protest against an increase in fees at council-run car parks.

Within the space of several days, almost 1,500 people have backed a petition by Bearsden Cross traders calling for the parking charge hike to be reversed.

The traders say the increase in parking fees and the abolition of the first two hours of free parking “could have a very significant consequence for our community and local businesses.”

They are being backed by Independent councillor for Bearsden North Duncan Cumming. He told the Herald: “This is purely a money making venture and the ramifications are horrendous.

“I have been inundated with emails from constituents expressing their concern.

“There has also been no consultation with local businesses who are quite rightly angry about it.

“It is a huge concern. Councillors need to go back to the drawing board and 
reinstate the status quo.”

From June 18 this year, drivers will be charged £1 for up to two hours, £2 for two to three hours, £3 for three to four hours and £5 for more than four hours. This will apply every day, except Sunday.

Councillor Cumming said: “We are going to see a very significant displacement of cars, with side streets being clogged up with vehicles and I am very concerned over the safety aspect of this. I will be campaigning with the community and my constituents to have this decision reversed.”

The rise in fees cam about as a result of the budget 
put forward recently by Lib Dem and Conservative councillors.

The joint leaders of East Dunbartonshire Council, Vaughan Moody (Lib Dem) and Andrew Polson (Conservative) who are both Bearsden councillors, said the revised charges will help to support the trend of “significant improvements in turnover of spaces” and officers will monitor the new system.

But Councillor Cumming said: “Two hours free was a good time for people to go about their business. Charging people £1 every time they want to pop into the chemist or such like, is ridiculous.”