Parking charges plan is car-azy, warns local businessman

Campbell Dallas boss James campbell to go with parking charges story'Photo Emma Mitchell'17/7/12
Campbell Dallas boss James campbell to go with parking charges story'Photo Emma Mitchell'17/7/12

ANGRY businessman James Campbell has blasted controversial council plans to introduce parking charges in Milngavie and Bearsden.

Mr Campbell, who employs around 30 people in a financial consultancy business in the area, says it could cost his staff around £50 a week to park under the proposed new regime.

The alternative is for them to park cars in housing areas allowing them to walk the rest of the way to work.

A Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) scheme across East Dunbartonshire was agreed at a recent full council meeting and follows consultation with business leaders and residents.

Under the scheme, the council will employ its own traffic wardens, but there will be a shortfall of £166,000 a year, which will be raised by introducing parking charges in streets and council-owned car parks.

Mr Campbell (pictured) employed around 40 people in an accountancy practice at Bearsden Cross before moving to Braehead near Glasgow.

He still runs a financial services business in Bearsden and he believes the new parking charges scheme will hit jobs and impact on businesses.

In a letter to council leader Rhondda Geekie, Mr Campbell said: “I employ nearly 30 people at Campbell Dallas Financial Services in Tribune Court, Roman Road, just beside the school.

“Just imagine the reaction when it is realised that staff will have to pay £50 per week out of taxed income to park their cars. The alternative will be cars parked randomly all over residential areas.”

The council’s director of development and infrastructure, Derek Cunningham, said: “In order for the council to manage parking enforcement effectively and safely across East Dunbartonshire, it is legally obliged to do this on a self-financing basis, which in turn means parking charges are necessary.

“We are committed to supporting our town centres and a parking model has been developed which will allow shoppers to continue to park free over the weekend and up to two hours on a week day. This will stop commuters from using town centre car parks all day, which discourages visitors and shoppers from coming into the town. A full public consultation was carried out on parking in Bearsden and many people were in favour of the introduction of charges.

“There is a proposal for the introduction of parking in all council-owned public car parks and the details of these proposals will be set out in a future report to the relevant committee.”