Parking zones plan for Celtic Park and Ibrox dropped by council

Glasgow City Council confirmed that the proposals, which were opposed by both clubs and thousands of fans, have been dropped.

Parking zones plan for Celtic Park and Ibrox dropped by Glasgow City Council SNS Group
Restrictions would have started three hours before kick-off and ended one hour after the final whistle.

Planned parking restrictions at Celtic Park and Ibrox have been dropped by Glasgow City Council.

Zones were set to be introduced around the grounds on match days to prevent “inconsiderate and obstructive” parking after concerns were raised by residents.

The controversial proposals were opposed by both clubs and thousands of fans. Celtic said the plan was “unreasonable” while Rangers claimed the idea was “flawed and unworkable”.

A council spokesman promised officials would “look again” at options to address the “detrimental impact” on local communities, but he said the Covid pandemic had severely disrupted the initial process.

Under the plans, an event day parking zone would have allowed residents and businesses to use permits to park as they would on non-match days. Residents’ visitor permits would have been available at a one-off cost of £10 per permit.

Restrictions would have started three hours before kick-off and ended one hour after the final whistle. Drivers who parked in the zone without a permit could have faced £60 fines.

The plans also included permanent restrictions on emergency routes where it is “deemed unsuitable” for vehicles to park.

However, Glasgow City Council has now sent a letter to two reporters, appointed by the Scottish Government, who were planning to lead public hearings on the proposed Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO), to inform them it no longer intends to continue with the process.

The reporters had indicated the hearings, organised after thousands of objections were received, were unlikely to be complete before a September 8 deadline and therefore the council believed officials would not have enough time to deal with the outcome, and issue any TROs, within “statutory timescales”.

The council spokesman said: “The public hearings on proposals for match day parking zones for Ibrox Stadium and Celtic Park have been severely disrupted by the covid pandemic.

“It is now very unlikely that the traffic regulation order process can be completed within statutory timescales and so it is appropriate that we withdraw these proposals at this time.

“Inconsiderate and obstructive parking remains an issue around both stadia on match days and we will look again at the options available for addressing an issue that has a detrimental impact on the affected communities.”

He added: “We will be engaging with all relevant stakeholders, including clubs and local communities, on the best way forward and part of the discussion will focus on how supporters can travel to games as sustainably as possible.”

Public hearings were scheduled to take place in 2020 but only pre-hearing meetings could be held before the Covid lockdown was announced in March of that year.

In February last year, a spokesman said the council remained “committed” to resolving the problems experienced after Ruth Maltman, a Dumbreck community councillor, said she understood the planned zone at Ibrox was likely to “fall by the wayside because of time constraints”.

Rangers’ submission to the council said ageing supporters would be “disproportionately affected” and claimed a “comprehensive transport infrastructure review into travelling practices of fans” was needed.

Both clubs reported there is a “lack of adequate” public transport.

Celtic’s response said the lack of alternative transport was a “key underlying issue”.

The club added: “Having been present in the same location for over 125 years, it seems unreasonable and disproportionate to proceed with the event day parking zone to the detriment of Celtic FC and its supporters, without first evaluating, considering and mitigating any such negative impact.”

Fans of both clubs said the parking zones could push problems, such as on-street parking and anti-social behaviour, onto other residential areas.

Supporters of the zones said they would help deal with “nightmare” traffic, inconsiderate parking, anti-social behaviour and lack of access for emergency vehicles.

Both clubs have been contacted for comment.