Hospitality row

Parking plan may force one in four venues to close

Stephen Montgomery: the council needs to roll back on this policy (pic: Terry Murden)

One in four hospitality businesses say Glasgow city council’s plans to extend parking charges until 10pm could force them to close.

More than half (54%) of respondents to a survey say they would have to cut staff hours, 50% say staffing would be cut, while 53% would consider relocating their business.

The findings come in a joint poll conducted between 15 and 20 March by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG). They received responses from 205 businesses employing more than 8,300 people.

There was an almost unanimous view (97%) that the proposal would adversely affect them and 82% believe footfall would decline. A similar number (81%) worry that turnover would be hit and 72% say it would become more difficult to recruit staff.

Hisashi Kuboyama, FSB’s development manager for Glasgow, said: “The survey shows that Glasgow’s business community is extremely concerned about the Glasgow City Council’s proposed parking restrictions.

“They feel that, if implemented, the change would affect many aspects of their business from turnover to staff retention and recruitment.

“It would have a devastating impact on the city’s restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and theatres and could affect hundreds of jobs. The council must have a rethink about their plans.”

Stephen Montgomery, director of the Scottish Hospitality Group, said: “The businesses of Glasgow have made their concerns very clear in this survey, but this is more than just about business, it is about the people who make Glasgow, who have already been hit with an LEZ policy, and now look to be hit again.

Iron Horse Glasgow
There are concerns more Glasgow pubs and restaurants will shut (pic: Terry Murden)

“We want Glasgow to be a thriving city where people want to come to eat in our fantastic restaurants, socialise in our bars, and stay overnight to enjoy a great nighttime economy.

“We would suggest that the council roll back on this policy and tell us all, what their vision for Glasgow is for the next three years.”

A spokesman for the council said: “Changes to pay and display hours in parking zones were agreed as part of a budget that required to find £107m worth savings from council services over the next three years.

“The budget has sought to target poverty and invest in support for communities with council Tax frozen for the next year.

“The longstanding approach with parking controls has been to prioritise parking for residents in the city’s 22 parking zones.

“By standardising parking hours across all zones we are aiming to provide the maximum benefit for permit holders seven days a week.

“A significant majority of people already come into the city centre by public transport and other forms of sustainable transport.

“We aim to build on this use of sustainable transport, but we also hope to encourage greater use of our off-street car parks, where discounted rates for overnight stays are available.

“Current data shows the city centre is busier in the evening and at the weekend than before the pandemic with people attracted to the centre for entertainment, food and drink.

“Our city centre plans are focused on creating a positive environment for visitors and a growing residential population.”

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