Businesses call for U-turn on Council parking charge increase

04/03/2024
Glasgow city centre

THE MAJORITY of Glasgow businesses have voiced their opposition to the City Council’s plans to increase parking charges.

A poll conducted by the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce has revealed 85 per cent of respondents fear the decision will have a detrimental effect on their businesses, calling on the Council to reverse its plans.

The move comes after Glasgow City Council approved plans to increase parking fees and extend the time limit of parking restrictions to 10pm (previously 6pm) seven days a week as part of its annual budget-setting process.

A date for implementation has yet to be confirmed.

This decision sparked widespread dismay in the business community, with companies across various sectors voicing concern that the charges will drive consumers away from the already struggling city centre and act as an unfair tax on key workers, adding an additional £7 per shift to their outgoings.

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce took to LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter) to capture the views of members and, of the 260 responses, 85.77 per cent said they believe the changes would have a negative impact.

Around seven per cent stated they did not yet know what impact would be, and the remaining minority of roughly six per cent said the charges would not impact their business.

Over half of responses came from individuals at chief executive and director level positions.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce said: “Glasgow’s businesses have spoken and the message is clear: they want the Council to reverse this decision.

“It is difficult to think of another policy which has received such an overwhelmingly negative response across all sectors.

“We understand the difficult position the Council is in. It’s being asked to implement national policies at a local level with reduced income and ever-increasing costs. However, these decisions are making the recovery of the City Centre increasingly difficult. We cannot ignore the cries for support from the hospitality sector, which has sadly witnessed a succession of businesses close down in recent months.

“Increasing parking charges also places additional financial pressure on city centre workers, including key workers at the Glasgow Dental Hospital, nearby schools and nurseries, retail and hospitality workers, who rely on street parking to access employment.

“This has a real risk to jobs and businesses across the city and we urge the Council to listen to their concerns and reconsider their approach.”

Seonaid Daly, Executive Director of Glasgow Film Theatre said: “Whilst we really encourage active and public transport travel into Glasgow Film Theatre and the city centre, we know from customer feedback that many people drive in and park nearby at night-time, taking advantage of the quieter roads and free parking.

“It’s not ideal to add another barrier to the sustainability of the nighttime economy when things are already so challenging.”

The Glasgow business community awaits the Council’s response, hoping for a reconsideration of the parking charge increase and the associated time restrictions.

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