Rutherglen Shopping Centre employees hit out over car parking charges
Jan 2 2013
by Will Henshaw, Rutherglen Reformer
Employees at Rutherglen Shopping Centre have hit out over the new car parking charges that were introduced last month.
Operators of the car park are Horizon Parking, an Essex company, who specialise in pay and display machines, but the news hasn’t gone down well with employees at the centre.
Parking at the centre costs 50p for two hours, £1 for three hours and £8 for 24 hours. If motorists go over their allotted time, park outwith a marked bay, park poorly, or park in a disabled bay without displaying the appropriate badge, they will be fined £70. However the charges do not apply on Sundays, when parking is free.
Staff at the centre have hit out at the new system, claiming there should be more concessions given to people working there.
According to Elizabeth McMenamy, who works at the Bon Appetite cafe, under the previous owners, Cairnduff Developments, staff were given discounts and could get a yearly permit of £208 per year.
There was also no limit to how many staff could get a permit.
However under the new system the staff permit costs £400 for the year (£100 quarterly) and there are only 25 permits available.
She said: “Some staff have to pay £8 a day to park, which is a lot of money.
“Under the old system with Ken Cairnduff he gave us a permit for £4 a week, but the new company is charging permits for £400 per year and there’s only 25 spaces and it’s first come first serve.
“If we can’t find a parking space and can’t open the shop on time then we won’t be able to serve customers and the centre will suffer.
“You don’t begrudge paying something but £400 is a lot, and then if you go on holiday you’ll be paying for it when you’re not here.”
Andy Ellis works in the Tech Bar in the shopping centre, which is a computer repair shop that has only been open for three weeks.
He says the charges are hurting his business: “I’ve lost out on an £80 laptop repair and a £60 laptop repair, both because we do a fix it while you wait service and each customer had to get back to their car before they got fined.
“If a customer has only paid for two hours and they’ve already done some shopping in the centre, they may not have time to wait while we repair their pc or laptop.
“We’ve only been open for three weeks and I’m frightened to think what it will be like in the future.”
Moorgarth purchased the centre from Cairnduff developments last year.
They spent over £300,000 improving the car park and have pledged further improvements to the centre itself.
Tim Vaughan, of Moorgarth, had previously said it was necessary to charge, as they needed some return on their investment in the car park.
They improved the layout, increasing the capacity, improved the drainage and repainted it.
He said: “Our system is completely overt, and clear and easy to use there’s not a lot we can do about it.
“It’s the way it’s got to be.
“We’ve got 40 tenants and that’s 40 out of 235 car parking spaces.
Ken Cairnduff didn’t spend anything on the car park and we spent a fortune on it and it’s a better car park now.”
Tell us your thoughts on the shopping centre, log on to our Facebook on www.facebook.com/RutherglenReformer