Parking threat to Bearsden traders

milngavie road, cars parking outside shops'em'3/10/11
milngavie road, cars parking outside shops'em'3/10/11

TRADERS on Milngavie Road say that a lack of parking places outside their shops has contributed towards so many businesses being forced to close recently.

Many businesses in the row of shops opposite Hillfoot train station have shut down in recent years.

The recession is partly to blame but shopowners also complain that they don’t get passing trade as rail commuters park their cars outside their shops all day.

The gift shop Pillarbox Red closed earlier this year, Bella hair salon has also closed as has Beauty and Elegance and the latest victim, Designing Women, which is due to close in December.

Designing Women owner Lesley Kinnaird said: “The parking issue outside the shop has been a bone of contention for us since we moved in 11 years ago.

“It’s got worse in the last three to four years with people leaving their cars and nipping across the road to catch the train to work.

“We’d like to have seen a two hour parking restriction introduced but the council hasn’t wanted to do that. I’m closing on Christmas Eve as it wasn’t doing as well as I would have liked.”

Romy’s chip shop owner Ralph Colaluca has been forced to close his shop at lunchtime because customers can’t get parked.

He took over the business two years ago from his father-in-law who ran it for 28 years.

Mr Colaluca said: “This has been a problem for years, my father-in-law with other traders, used to put stickers on people’s cars asking them to park somewhere else if they left their car there all day.

“People don’t realise they are damaging businesses by doing this - we’d encourage commuters to be a bit more considerate about where they leave their car.

“Passing trade is really important for us, especially local workmen, but they say they just can’t get parked outside.

“I’d like parking meters to be introduced which charge people a small amount for parking.

“Things are tough enough for us at the moment and this problem is making things worse.”

Whizz Kids children’s clothes shop also closed down but re-opened again recently.

Bearsden councillor Ashay Ghai is pushing for something to be done on behalf of one of his constituents, Ralph Colaluca.

Councillor Ghai said: “Ideally there should be provision for short stay parking. However, questions remain on how such a measure could be enforced.

“It is essential that the council implements its own parking strategy so that we can address such matters for traders.

“A strategy that is responsive would mean parking solutions around our train stations and schools could also be properly examined, with both drivers and residents in mind.”