Angry response to council's proposed park rule changes

THOUSANDS of people have signed a petition demanding the council drop plans to bring in rules for city parks.

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Walking more than three dogs, listening to a radio, meeting in groups of more than 20 and cycling faster than 5mph could all face being banned
Walking more than three dogs, listening to a radio, meeting in groups of more than 20 and cycling faster than 5mph could all face being banned

They have hit out at proposals which would stop people meeting in groups of more than 20, walking more than three dogs, and listening to radios.

Around 10,600 park users have put their names to the online petition launched by local dog owner Sarah Henderson.

Sports groups including Scottish Military Fitness, which run classes in the parks, urged their members to sign the petition via their Facebook page.

It states: "The parks have always been self policed and have survived for over 100 years.

"Please let common sense prevail on this one and object to Glasgow City Coun-cil curbing our enjoyment of our open spaces."

As reported in the Even-ing Times on Wednesday, the plans includes a 5mph speed limit for cyclists dubbed "ridiculous and unenforceable" by bike fans.

As part of their Park Management Rules consultation, Glasgow City Council's Land and Environmental Services want to encourage park users to enjoy parks and open spaces "safely and responsibly".

The document includes new guidelines to ensure owners keep dogs on a leash no longer than six feet and could also block people from walking more than three animals at a time.

Sarah, 34, launched the petition on Tuesday, hoping for 100 signatures. Within hours it had thousands.

She said: "I am not political, I did this because I have a dog who I walk in Glasgow Green. The dog rules got me first, but then I looked into it and I thought 'I am not having this'.

"Between this, George Square and the cone on the Duke of Wellington, it seems like Glasgow City Council are going through a crazed power trip.

"The council is making issues where there are no issues."

Sarah has walked her four-year-old pug Elvis in the park since he was a puppy and has never experienced problems with out of control dogs.

One of the key concerns about the proposals are plans to stop groups of more than 20 people gathering in the park without permission.

PARK users fear this could limit the activities of sports groups who use the parks for training.

Bellahouston Road Runners, based on the South Side, train in Pollok Park and Bellahouston Park regularly.

The club's race director Brian O'Donnell said the rules would put people off affordable regular exercise.

He said: "The parks provide our members with a safe, traffic-free area to take part in running training all year round.

"Given our member numbers, these plans effectively force us out of the parks. Where do we go instead? We would be competing with pedestrians and cars on the pavements and the roads, which is not a safe option for the public and our members.

"How we obtain perm-ission to use the parks or if we would be charged for use of the park is not clear from the proposals.

"We are not a profit driven organisation. We continually reinvest in our members, yet could be treated as a commercial organisation with these new rules.

"This can only be detrimental to our ability to retain members and attract new members.

"The impact on the wider community is fewer people taking part in regular exercise, which can only be a negative outcome."

A council spokesman said: "The park manage-ment rules are reviewed every 10 years.

"The main aim is to simplify the rules and make it easier for visitors and the people of Glasgow to enjoy the city's parks.

"We want to ensure people can enjoy the parks without being caused any nuisance and that park users behave in a considerate, safe and responsible manner.

"It is hoped as many interested parties as possible will make their views known by taking part in the consultation."

matty.sutton@eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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