BY Peter Diamond | March 8 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


City centre parishes concerned over plan to charge for Sunday street parking

Catholic parishes in Glasgow city centrehave expressed concern at plans unveiled by the local authority that will see Mass-goers charged to park on the street.

Priests at St Andrew’s Cathedral and St Mungo’s Church, Townhead said they were concerned about the proposals which could ‘unfairly penalise’ parishioners.

Last week Glasgow City Council revealed plans to start charging drivers every day to use city centre bays that are currently free to use on Sundays.

Motorists would have to pay a £1 fee for 15 minutes with a two-hour maximum stay, and parking on single yellow lines would be banned.

Fr Joseph Walsh, a priest of St Andrew’s Cathedral, said: “We were not aware of such charges being discussed by the council but it would certainly affect our parishioners.

“There is possibly room for objection because Mass-goers are being unfairly penalised if that is the case. Parking in the city is very expensive and the buses don’t run too frequently on Sundays.”

The council said the measure aims to reduce the amount of congestion and pollution within the city centre and have said that they are not targeting a specific group, insisting that churches play an intrinsic role to the fabric of the city.

Fr Frank Keevins of St Mungo’s said: “I’m aware of the discussions and at the moment I can only say that the whole parish is concerned by them.”

Councillor Thomas Kerr, deputy leader of Glasgow’s Conservative group, said the new parking charges would ‘decimate’ the city centre.

He said: “Long-established organs of society such as churches would be negatively impacted by this change, with some ministers already anticipating a significant drop in numbers.

“This issue is further compounded by the lack of regular bus services on Sundays, which is a real issue, especially during the winter months, and would hit the elderly most.

“Constituents have been getting in touch to highlight the damage this would do to the sense of community in the city centre.”

Edinburgh City Council is already expected to start charging for Sunday parking later this year.

On-street parking charges already apply on Sundays in Aberdeen from 1pm-5pm, and in Dundee from 1pm-6pm.


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