Business & Entrepreneurs

Byres Road traders want parking charges suspended until January to aid recovery

By Ellen Thomson at

Business owners in and around Byres Road are calling for the postponement of parking charges to be extended.

The Byres Road and Lanes Business Improvement District (BID) is asking Glasgow City Council to suspend parking charges until the end of January.

If that measure is not achievable, the group – which represents 235 members – says a flat-rate charge should be introduced.

Byres Road

Traders on Byres Road want parking charges suspended.

The group says motorists should only pay £1 per hour for on-street and off-street bays – for up to a maximum of three or four hours.

The measure would give businesses time to recover from lockdown and the public the confidence to return to the area, according to the group.

A number of local non-essential shops and businesses are set to reopen from Monday in line with phase 2 of the Scottish government’s plans to move the country out of lockdown.

John Turner is the chair of the BID and co-owner of Janet & John in Cresswell Lane.

He said: “The BID believes that it is going to take many months for footfall and sales to recover, and it will be especially vital that local businesses are supported during the run up to Christmas.

‘Not survive’

“Without a successful Christmas trading period, many businesses will simply not survive.

“Our suggestion would be that parking charges should remain suspended until the end of January 2021.

“This will be especially important if the council goes through with its plans to widen the pavements along the length of Byres Road by removing the current on-street parking spaces, as they have done already in parts of the city centre.

“As an alternative to completely suspending parking charges, and in particular to prevent the West End being used as a “park and ride” for people travelling into the city centre, we suggest that parking charges for metered spaces and Council-run car parks should be set at £1 per hour, limited to a maximum stay of 3 or 4 hours.

“This would give visitors ample time to shop, and perhaps have a meal or refreshments at one of the West End’s many well-known food and drink establishments.

Byres Road

Businesses fear any plans to widen footpaths on Byres Road will impact parking.

“We recognise that the public should be encouraged to use alternative means of travel to and from the area, but there needs to be a recognition in these extraordinary times that many people are going to be unable to, or nervous about, using public transport while the risk of contracting the virus remains high and that this will increase car use by those that live outwith the West End.”

The BID has written to local politicians and says it has had some positive responses in support of their plea to continue the suspension of parking charges.

Local business owner Gordon Quirk of Currie & Quirk Opticians on Byres Road said his patients would “appreciate a period of free on street parking for their carer / transportation”.

He said continued access for patients with very complex needs was of “vital importance”.

He said: “Attendance at one of our specialised clinics is generally speaking, not optional, and forms part of the developmental patient pathway organised through General Medical practice from our local hospitals, to whom we feed back and share the patient care.

“For us this is more about patient access for treatment in their community, rather than a hospital setting, for NHS treatment which is vital to their recovery or their physical and mental wellbeing.”