Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire has written to the head of Glasgow University regarding the parking chaos on roads surrounding the Garscube Estate. The situation has been an ongoing problem for months with residents fed up with the severe congestion on roads in the area.
Currently, as part of the University's Green Travel policy, Garscube Estate staff must pay for a parking permit to park on the site. However many are choosing to park for free on surrounding residential streets instead. In addition there have been issues with contractors also parking using free street parking instead of spaces provided for them.
Commenting Jo said:
"Residents are still extremely angry at their streets becoming congested as a result of parking charges at the university and the situation as it stands cannot continue.
" It's causing traffic jams, making deliveries difficult and it's unacceptable for the streets to be congested because of a lack of action by the university.
"I met with the Senior Estates Development Manager, for answers to my questions about what tangible steps could be taken to remedy the situation.
"Sadly that meeting did not properly answer my questions and I've been forced to take the matter further by writing to the Principal of the University to see what tangible steps, if any, they have taken or will take to improve the situation."
Commenting Councillor Vaughan Moody said:
"We all welcome the new development in the Garscube Estate. However what has been unacceptable is the price that local residents have had to suffer in the form of extra parking by sub contractors and employees."
Jo and Vaughan at the Garscube Estate parking lot.
Jo's letter to the Principal of the University of Glasgow is below:
Prof Anton Muscatelli
University of Glasgow,
23 August 2012
Dear Prof Muscatelli,
As you may be aware, I recently met with Mary Beaton, Senior Estates Development Manager, regarding the parking situation in the area surrounding the Garscube Estate in my constituency. I have previously exchanged correspondence with Steve Sutton of Estates Development about this, and had requested a meeting with him. Sadly, he was unable to make it.
Residents and businesses have had concerns for some time about the number of cars parked in the surrounding streets by those working on the estate. This is having a serious impact on businesses in the area and is clearly very frustrating for residents who are not able to park near their own homes. It appears that the main reason for this is because staff can park for free on the street, whereas they are subject to charges within the estate. It also seems that contractors carrying out construction work on the estate were responsible, despite allocated parking being provided for them.
Both in the meeting with Ms Beaton, and in previous correspondence with Steve Sutton, it was put to me that the parking charges would not be reconsidered as they were part of the University's Green Travel Policy. It seems to me that, although the policy has been endorsed at the highest levels within the University, little consideration has been given to how it operates at ground level. If the outcome of the policy is merely that staff and visitors use the surrounding streets for parking, then it would seem to me that the policy is achieving very little in terms of reducing carbon emissions. I would be grateful if you could outline what benchmarks have been put in place to monitor the success of the policy, particularly in the Garscube Estate, and what assessment of these has taken place since it was introduced.
Ms Beaton also advised me that the University is taking steps to reduce car use, by encouraging car sharing and lobbying for better public transport. However, the details of both of these elements remain vague. I would be grateful if you could outline what analysis has been carried out in relation to the barriers in place preventing staff making better use of public transport, and what actual practical steps have been taken to ensure car sharing. I would be more than happy to make the case to the relevant transport company that changes need to be made, but I need to build a case built on actual evidence of failings.
As noted above, that there were some issues relating to contractors working on the site parking irresponsibly. I am aware that Glasgow City Council has now approved plans for a new building on the site for 100 staff. Ms Beaton advised me that the University is now tendering for building contractors to carry out the work, and the successful bidder will need to have a management plan in place, which should deal with the issue of contractor parking.
I would also be grateful if you could outline the steps that will be put in place to ensure that the agreed parking plan is adhered to. I gather that it has previously been the case that construction workers were using allocated spaces for storage of materials, rather than parking.
I would be grateful if you could address each these points, and advise me of what you feel can be done to improve this situation. I appreciate your assistance in this matter and look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Jo Swinson MP