Bearsden Cross faces a “very real threat” from hall car park closure

Bearsden Burgh Hall
Bearsden Burgh Hall

Traders in Bearsden are concerned that their businesses will suffer when Bearsden Burgh Burgh Hall car park closes for refurbishment.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s planning application for the creation of a new community hub, which will include a library, social work facilities and public meeting rooms in being provided in the hall, has been agreed.

An exact start date hasn’t been set for the construction work yet, but it will proceed at some point later this year.

There are currently 35 lined spaces at the Burgh Hall and once the work is complete there will be 28 spaces.

Valuable parking spaces will also be lost when Brookwood Library, on Drymen Road, is sold by the council.

Morna Thornburn, owner of florist Rose and Thyme on Drymen Road, Bearsden, said: “There’s a real fear that local shops will be put out of business when Bearsden Burgh hall car park closes.

“Bearsden Cross faces a very real threat.”

Business owners are also annoyed that the parking meters in car parks, which mean people can only stay for a short time, are still not in operation.

Paul Smith, owner of Paul Smith menswear in new Kirk Road, said: “If the short stay car parking was in operation that would ease the burden.

“It was meant to happen in July 2015 and now it won’t be introduced until later this year.

“The sooner the council gets that up and running the better as it will help enormously.

“But they have dragged their heels yet again in their endless quest to destroy Bearsden.

“Bearsden Burgh hall car park will be closed for at least a year.

“Many traders are very worried about it, we already have a few empty units here.

“It would be really terrible to see other businesses close as a result of this.”

The machines have been installed in the car parks but they are not operational yet, and one of them has already been knocked down in Roman Road car park.

Alan Bauer, Corporate Asset Manager for East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “We will keep the car park open until as near to the date of the start of construction as possible.

“We may need to close off sections of the car park before this but we will aim to keep the disruption to a minimum.

“The car park will be closed throughout the building works.

“The council is looking at the wider parking issue around Bearsden Cross with a view to creating additional spaces elsewhere.”

He added: “We are aware of the damaged parking meter and will aim to have this fixed as soon as possible.”