Glasgow Council has hit on a new wheeze to fight congestion: it wants to charge people to park everywhere. That means employers would charge their employees, leisure centres would charge their members and out-of-town shopping centres would charge their customers. And it also means that people would pay to park on residential streets they didn’t live in, such as those of their relatives.
If you’re thinking “hang on, surely out of town shopping centres are outwith Glasgow Council’s remit?” you’d be right. If you’re also thinking “okay then, if they bring this in in Glasgow surely it’ll mean everything moves out of Glasgow?” you’d be right too. Which is why the council is lobbying the executive to introduce legislation that will apply nationwide. They haven’t said this, but I imagine that’s because otherwise Glasgow will end up like Paisley, a once-thriving town whose excellent councillors decided to make Paisley as anti-car as possible at the same time as the nearby, out of town Braehead retail park opened. The result? Paisley’s a ghost town.
The vision is simple: councils will have responsibility not just for roadside parking, but for all parking, everywhere. By levying parking fees not just on roadside parking but on residential streets too, they’ll persuade everyone to take public transport and save the planet.
Only a cynic would point out that public transport outside the city centre (and inside it too, if you include the Subway’s wartime opening hours or have ever used the bus to travel home after a night out) is shite, and that any parking charges will have a disproportionate effect on the people who can least afford them.
As one commenter on The Herald newspaper site puts it:
Come on [councillor] Purcell, get the poor off the road. I purchased a large 4×4 which I sometimes find difficult to park in the city centre due to all the working class in their Clios and such like.
The roads should be reserved for the wealthy and councillors only. This measure is a good step in keeping the poor in their place and it should be applauded.