A PROBLEM ON THE HORIZON…
For any of you who drive to Celtic games and park in the vicinity of the stadium, you may not be aware that Glasgow council have plans to place a no parking zone within a 1km radius of Celtic Park. Permits will granted to local people within the zone but no supporters will be allowed to park within the restricted area and these restrictions are due to commence as soon as next August.
This will have a severe impact on Celtic fans, particularly the older supporters who rely on parking close to the stadium as possible due to health and mobility reasons.
Now, let me say from the outset I have the utmost sympathy with the locals around Parkhead regarding traffic and parking. It’s not always a pleasant experience having 50-60,000 people bearing down on your area. And I speak from experience. The first 25 years of my life were spent in Govan, where Rangers fans regularly parked on our road. But even as Celtic fan there was an appreciation that Rangers fans have to park somewhere.
It’s also great to see the regeneration of the area surrounding the stadium with the great improvement in social housing. Celtic deserve a great deal of credit for this. Had Fergus McCann moved from our current site in 1994 (and he could have) then a huge derelict stadium would have blighted the area for years on end. As it was, Fergus built a new stadium which was the centre point of the regeneration of the area which culminated in the 2014 Commonwealth games. There should be parking permits for local homes but not the scheme that the council are currently proposing.
People buy or rent homes around the area in the knowledge that Celtic play at Parkhead. We’ve been here since 1888 so we’re reasonably well known in the area. There are approximately 25 home game as a season out of 365 days so that is not a tremendous inconvenience. And the feedback on social media suggests that the majority of locals are not unhappy with the way things are at the moment.
For my own part, I rely on the car to get to games. Junior plays on a Saturday morning and by the time he gets home, showered and fed, there is no way I could get to 3pm kick off using public transport (which is unreliable at the best of times). As I said, elderly Celtic fans need to take the car and I know many people who have to take the car due to work commitments (standby, shifts etc…). Do you think for a minute that the council would inflict a similar inconvenience on the patrons of the ballet or opera who attend the Theatre Royal ? Not a chance. It’s the working class supporters getting a kicking again from politicians, local ones this time.
And the council should know better. As Harry Brady often states, Celtic fans and visiting supporters bring in untold millions of pounds to the greater Glasgow economy. Anyone with sense should encourage customers to come out and spend their money. The council are now doing their level best to chase them away.
This idea has not been well thought through. Should the scheme be implemented then parking will be banned around the 1km radius. This will only force a problem on other surrounding areas such as the Calton on one side and Tollcross on the other. Ironically the same council big-wigs who come up with these ideas are employed in offices in the city centre with huge underground car parks for themselves. Don’t do as I do, do as I say…
I park behind London Road police station. It’s an industrial area and as the workplaces are shut on a Saturday and Sunday there is no problem parking as no one is being inconvenienced.
For any fans who drive to games, I urge you to write to Glasgow council now and make your feelings known. This idea is due to commence in August, so time is of the essence. Celtic’s supporters liaison officer, John Paul Taylor, can pass on any concerns to the club if you get in touch with him also.
My message to Celtic is that you must stand up and make yourself heard on behalf of your supporters. Make no mistake if this goes through, attendances will be lowered and you will lose money.