A recent request for consultation with locals and spectators prior to implementing new parking constraints around Rugby Park has been dismissed.

Restrictions were put into place last year affecting parking in the vicinity on match days, with some restrictions being ongoing whereas others are strictly in effect during game days.

East Ayrshire Council is set to implement new matchday parking constraints on several streets in the vicinity, including Arrothill Drive, Galrigside Road, and Harperland Drive, among others.

Nevertheless, since the council has decided to implement these new rules through a temporary traffic order while contemplating a permanent solution, it has bypassed the need for a public consultation.

This decision has caused consternation amongst residents who feel blindsighted by the new restrictions, prompting Labour councillor Barry Douglas to push for immediate public consultation.

He further championed for a wider engagement beyond what’s mandated by the statutory consultation.

Cllr Douglas inquired, “Are we certain we have fully consulted with residents on this matter before we begin enforcing this?”

He suggested, “I’d prefer we undertake an extensive investigation, involving all affected residents, before taking any further action.”

During a follow-up discussion, Douglas pointed out, “We wanted to conduct a public consultation process now that would allow us to get everyone’s opinions, not just revisit it 12 months from now.”

“It appears the council has fallen into a habit of implementing policy first and asking for opinions later,” he added.

He further argued that a comprehensive public consultation, extending beyond residents to include stakeholders and spectators, could bring all parties together to shape future parking constraints.

Council leader Douglas Reid acknowledged that the restrictions introduced last year have improved safety around Glasgow’s Rugby Park. However, he conceded that issues around parking and road safety continue to be a concern.

He commented, “There is definite pressure, and we know the residents have been exceedingly patient.”

Chief Governance Officer David Mitchell suggested the Cabinet consider whether they would prefer an informal consultation prior to the new temporary order. This could lead to duplication as a formal consultation would still be necessary if the order were made permanent.

Agreeing with Cllr Reid, he stated that public consultation should be wider than that required by the statutory process.

Councillor Reid proposed a broader consultation covering all of the restrictions after a span of 12 months

Cllr Douglas, on the other hand, proposed an amendment to start immediate public consultation.

The cabinet’s final decision was in favour of Cllr Reid’s proposal.

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