Up­roar af­ter park gates locked to curb booz­ers

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY HAMISH MOR­RI­SON

AFAMOUS Glas­gow comic has hit out at the coun­cil’s an­nounce­ment it will close gates at a city park to dis­cour­age un­der­age booz­ers.

Co­me­dian Frankie Boyle – known for his shows at the nearby Stand com­edy club – said the plans would cre­ate bot­tle­necks into the park. He also ac­cused the coun­cil of not hav­ing un­der­taken an im­pact assess­ment.

Writ­ing on Twit­ter in re­sponse to the coun­cil’s an­nounce­ment of the changes, the 47-year-old said: “Cre­at­ing bot­tle­necks dur­ing a pan­demic; forc­ing peo­ple with prams and wheel­chairs to go down Sauchiehal­l Street; or Gib­son Street; clos­ing all the en­trances on the street you just closed down traf­fic on for cy­clists.

“Pre­sum­ably, you haven’t done any kind of im­pact assess­ment.”

A spokesman for Glas­gow City Coun­cil said one en­trance on Kelvin Way would re­main open, so peo­ple would not be forced to walk down Sauchiehal­l Street as the co­me­dian claimed.

He added: “The park re­mains ac­ces­si­ble to all po­ten­tial users com­ing from the north, south, east or west.”

On the so­cial me­dia site, an­other user mocked the coun­cil’s video show­ing a park worker pad­lock­ing a gate.

They wrote: “A good whack with a ham­mer will get rid of that pad­lock, I’ve seen it done be­fore.”

One Twit­ter user asked: “Won’t this just lead to bot­tle­neck flows and force peo­ple into closer prox­im­ity?”

It comes af­ter the coun­cil an­nounced it would close ten of the park’s 16 en­trances on days ex­pected to busy for the rest of the sum­mer and that po­lice of­fi­cers will be de­ployed to stop peo­ple tak­ing in al­co­hol in re­sponse to re­cent rau­cous par­ties in the park which saw wide­spread an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour and a cop as­saulted.

One user wrote: “This is a ter­ri­ble idea that’ll only cause peo­ple stress and in­con­ve­nience. Kelv­in­grove links up many dif­fer­ent parts of the west end – you’re ef­fec­tively forc­ing peo­ple to walk or cy­cle around the park when they could much eas­ier pass through it.”

Lo­cal SNP coun­cil­lor Ken An­drew wel­comed the changes.

He said: “Peo­ple aren’t happy about it, but they weren’t happy about the par­ties in the park ei­ther and we can’t have a sit­u­a­tion where po­lice of­fi­cers are be­ing as­saulted. You can’t have it both ways.

“I think it’s a sen­si­ble so­lu­tion, by con­trol­ling the num­ber of en­trances into the park then you can con­trol what young peo­ple are tak­ing into the park.

“I don’t think that it will cre­ate bot­tle­necks be­cause once it be­comes known that you won’t get into the park with carry outs, they will move else­where.

“Peo­ple will think twice about go­ing there if they know they will be stopped.”

Greens MSP Pa­trick Harvie said: “As a re­sponse to con­cerns over so­cial dis­tanc­ing, it makes lit­tle sense to force more peo­ple through fewer spa­ces. It’s also un­clear why there’s any need to cut off ac­cess from the new­lypedes­tri­anised Kelvin Way, un­less they are plan­ning to re­open it to traf­fic which would be a real loss.

“I urge the coun­cil to think again about these plans.”

The park has been fre­quently used as a party hotspot, de­spite lock­down re­stric­tions be­ing in place across the city

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