Last month St Anthony posted about the impending parking restrictions under consultation for Celtic Park match day. Call me a cynic but a consultation seems to involve chatting through with people and delivering the outcome those in charge want anyway! If that is the case it is all the more important that Celtic fans give as much feedback on the proposals as possible. If you drive to a game you WILL be affected by reduced parking options within a one mile radius of the ground. If you take public transport to a game you WILL be affected by the extra volumes of fellow passengers. Earlier today on Twitter John Paul Taylor requested that Celtic fans email him with their experiences of using public transport and I would urge all to do so;
I have already done so. I used to travel via Dalmarnock Station but stopped doing so after the £12m “upgrade” reduced platform capacity. This allied to the less safe road layout outside the station, altered Scotrail timetable and uncertainty of whether the next train will be 3 carriage, 6 carriage or cancelled made my 75 year old father and I decide the car was safer.
In dialogue people have had with Glasgow City Council they seem to be saying that they don’t want any cars in the immediate area of Celtic Park and the Emirates except residents. I understand the position and the impact match day parking must have on residents. We live in a me culture and I know of a recent incident where an emergency vehicle couldn’t gain access to the Bellway housing on the old Irn Bru site due to match day parking blocking the road. I also know that the residents in the former Commonwealth Games site regularly find driveways blocked and parked on, preventing them leaving their homes on match days or on one occasion a young mother unable to return home with her shopping and baby.
Obviously such behaviour from those fans parking is selfish, reprehensible and to be condemned by all however just expecting the cars to disappear come the new season in August is ridiculous. No alternative has been put in place to transport the numbers to and from Celtic Park…they don’t even know how many that displaced amount is. Here are my key points GCC should answer before bringing in the parking restrictions;
- The stadium was there before the houses. If the Council had concerns about stadium parking (which has not changed significantly in the past 5 years since the new housing) why was additional parking provision not incorporated into the Dalmarnock overhaul?
- If parking provision is an issue, why have they prevented match day use of the Commonwealth games bus park?
- If they are seeking to transfer car users to public transport, do they know Celtic match day car user numbers?
- What is current hourly public transport capacity to and from Celtic Park?
- What is maximum public transport capacity in the hour prior and hour post game to and from Celtic Park?
- What is the passenger capacity of each of Dalmarnock, Belgrove and Bridgeton Stations?
- What analysis has been made of the road junction at Dalmarnock Station to cope with additional people?
- Will any parking restrictions only be put in place AFTER improvements in public transport provisions?
- As the biggest provider of one of Glasgow’s largest industries what financial analysis has been done on the impact of changes to parking provision?
- What impact is forecast on areas outwith the 1 mile radius?
- What impact will dispersal of traffic make on policing capabilities in the immediate environment of Celtic Park?
I am told that the queue for access to Dalmarnock Station stretched back up to the traffic lights from Clyde Gateway onto Nuneaton Street. If that’s the case how can that possibly cope with additional thousands?
From what we know to date there seems to be a strategy to reduce car visitor numbers to zero without any strategy of how to handle those users. With the May election pending I can understand why the local councillor is seeking change but this is a change without a plan. Celtic are not alone. These changes will affect any event at the Emirates and there are restrictions planned for Ibrox too. Once again the financial benefits of football to this city are ignored. It’s time us football fans made our voices heard. Contact JP Taylor and contact Glasgow City Council’s DRS Planning Team.