Shop­pers driven out of town by park­ing

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Strat­ton Wil­liams

A Cam­bus­lang wo­man has hit out at the lack of park­ing pro­vi­sion in the town cen­tre.

And Mairi Bell says it is hurt­ing busi­nesses and driv­ing shop­pers out of town to places with bet­ter park­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

Mak­ing mat­ters worse for the Spruce Drive mum-of-two is the fact that she has landed two park­ing fines from South La­nark­shire Coun­cil in the past month alone.

“I’m an­noyed at the lack of park­ing for day-to-day things in the town cen­tre,” she said.

Mairi ( 41) said the set- up in the Al­li­son Drive car park be­hind Cam­bus­lang Gate is not fit for pur­pose.

“There are red bays for Farm­foods pri­or­ity park­ing where you get one hour free,” she said.

“And there are white bays which al­low two hours free.

“But you can never get a white space dur­ing the day be­cause South La­nark­shire Coun­cil work­ers and their vans use them.

“I was made re­dun­dant re­cently and have to at­tend the Job­cen­tre at spe­cific ap­pointed times.

“If I can’t get a space in the white bays beause they are full I end up late for the meet­ings.”

And Mairi says that if she is late Job­cen­tre staff mark her down as a non-at­ten­der – and her ben­e­fit pay­ment is cut.

“I can’t af­ford that to hap­pen,” she added.

“I’ve also had to pay fines be­cause I’ve been longer than one hour in the red bays.

“But if the Job­cen­tre peo­ple send me to Routes to Work I can’t just walk out in the mid­dle of it to move my car – so I end up with tick­ets.

“It’s a night­mare and it’s get­ting out of hand,” she added. “I’m try­ing to find em­ploy­ment and be­ing pe­nalised for it.”

Mairi said she would be happy for the coun­cil to in­stall me­ters in the car park to al­low longer stays.

“I would rather pay a park­ing fee than end up with a £60 penalty ev­ery time I over­stay in a space,” she said.

Cam­bus­lang West coun­cil­lor Clare McColl had sym­pa­thy for Mairi’s sit­u­a­tion.

“Park­ing in the town is a night­mare,” said the SNP mem­ber, “and the lady shouldn’t be get­ting sanc­tioned by the Job­cen­tre for be­ing a bit late.

“I know how dif­fi­cult it is to get parked at Cam­bus­lang Gate be­cause there is a huge de­mand for spa­ces and I’ve had dis­cus­sions with Don­ald Gib­son, the park­ing man­ager, about ways to try and im­prove things.

“Lack of park­ing is an his­toric is­sue and I wish I knew an an­swer that would please ev­ery­one but I will keep work­ing to­wards try­ing to get more spa­ces pro­vided,” said Coun­cil­lor McColl.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s head of roads and trans­porta­tion Gor­don Mackay said: “The coun­cil is aware of the park­ing de­mand in Cam­bus­lang and en­deav­ours to bal­ance the needs of all those who wish to park in the town cen­tre area.

“The avail­able park­ing has to ad­dress the needs both of those who park to go shop­ping or to ap­point­ments and those who work in the town cen­tre and pro­vide th­ese ser­vices.

“The coun­cil is mind­ful of this de­mand for spa­ces and it takes any op­por­tu­nity it can find to in­crease the over­all park­ing pro­vi­sion.

“Re­gret­fully, at the mo­ment there are no va­cant sites within the town cen­tre that the coun­cil has con­trol over that would al­low it to in­crease the park­ing ca­pac­ity,” he said.

Park­ing mad Mairi Bell

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