Shoppers to be snapped by new cameras

Regent Centre manager Angela McLaren
Regent Centre manager Angela McLaren

Drivers using Kirkintilloch’s Regent Centre car park will be photographed in a bid to enforce strict time restrictions.

The shopping centre has been advertising the imminent launch of a new scheme designed to ensure drivers only use the car park for the length of time they are entitled to.

The move, effective from August 3, has worried some shoppers who fear community groups could lose out.

However the centre’s management argue the 24-hour measure is increasingly commonplace at similar carparks around the country, and that it will help genuine customers get fair use of the facility.

In the notice advertising the change, drivers are told the DVLA will be contacted if they park longer than two hours - or return within a two-hour no return period - and they’ll be sent a demand for a fine in the post.

Reader Marion Donnachie said she found the text of the poster “slightly intimidating” and said many people using the car park at night – for example choir, church and community groups – would be penalised by the cameras.

And she said that, with plans for the town hall now well advanced, two hours might not be enough for all the people needing to park.

She said: “They will be forced to park on the surrounding streets, leading to congestion and justified complaints from residents.”

She added that the shopping centre owners could increase the permitted parking time from two hours, or only apply restrictions during the day.

However Regent Centre manager Angela Mclaren insists the move is a fair one, commenting: “Unfortunately some people treat the facility as a free car park to use as long as they like.

“It is really intended for customers, and at busy times they can lose out to people who aren’t using the centre.”

She added: “There isn’t any change to the time limit involved, which is exactly the same as before.

“The only difference is that people who shouldn’t be there will be fined.”

Ms Mclaren agreed the town hall development could add to local parking problems.

But said it was unrealistic to expect the shopping centre to use its car park to take up the slack.