The Long Walk Hurdle
Wakening you up with a title to remind some of you of one of our favourite pastimes,this article is nothing to do with a horse race and everything to do with the problems many will face in getting to Celtic Park if the council in Glasgow has its way.
I attended the pre hearing in early March for the proposed traffic restrictions around Celtic Park in that there will be no parking within a mile of the park!
At the meeting those Celtic fans present were asked to get a group together to act as petitioners on behalf of the fans. I am now one of that number. There is apparently no joined group of supporters clubs (yes, I was surprised too)!
I have attached a copy of the letter that I sent just to remind you all of the issues – unfortunately I took a scatter gun approach but I would appreciate all comments that you would like to give.
What I am seeking from you is how you feel about the issue. I know that many of you wrote a complaint at the time (there were 1,130 letters of objection) but if you could drop me a couple of sentences about how it would impact on you that would be great.
Interestingly at the night,as well as the residents that we are “bothering”-(did they only just wake up one day, notice the big green building and say to themselves “where the f**k did that come from”???)-there were also residents from a mile down the road who have realised the problem is just getting moved and from what I gather they did not object at the time but were definitely objecting now.
Another issue is that these restrictions are also to be applied to The Rangers (2012) and although the issues for both sets of supporters are very different, there are concerns that Glasgow City Council will not make different decisions for each.
On another note – can I add that the club are on the ball with this and are fighting it strongly at some considerable expense and are bringing in a lot of big guns. I was particularly impressed with the lawyer acting for Celtic. I know a lot of you have quite a poor view of the board but I do think they are putting up a good fight and whilst it may be because of how they think it affects their bottom line it is ultimately helping us.
Anyway. If you have anything that you would like me to pass on please email firstname.lastname@example.org and he will pass them onto me.
Our group has also started a change.org for this which is found here.
And it would be greatly appreciated if you could share it widely please.
Text of my original letter,now two years old,below:
I would like to have my concerns noted regarding the proposed parking restrictions around Celtic Park.
I travel to the games by car with my elderly father who is 79 and has been going to Celtic games since he was 4 – or so he tells us.
Public transport is not a viable option for us for a number of reasons – not least that my dad is unable to walk far. We currently park in Bluevale Street but this is almost a mile away and my dad can barely walk that as it is. Having a mile of no parking would likely mean that we may be almost two miles away!
Public transport to Celtic Park is very poor. Dalmarnock station is apparently 0.7 miles away, Duke Street is almost a mile away and the bus service is not the best. Celtic fans have been going to games in their cars because of the poor public transport long before the area was improved following the Commonwealth Games when there were a huge number of houses built in the area. The people who moved in knew that it would be very busy during home games. There is also precedent that those who were there first have priority. There is a well known film quote “build it and they will come”! Well, Celtic Park has been built – for 130 years and we have been coming for 130 years! In addition, Celtic Football Club, its supporters and opposition supporters including European supporters provide a massive boost to the Glasgow economy and we should be given the courtesy of our needs being considered too.
I looked at the plans on the website but they weren’t particularly clear and I also had a look at the “frequently asked questions” relating to this. I have to say I was surprised to see mention of the subway at all – what subway station do you consider to be within walking distance of Celtic Park?
I also read the report submitted to the council – which states that the council wishes
-” to promote healthy and environmentally sustainable methods of transport that minimise harmful emissions and energy consumption including those that involve physical activity”
I would suggest that the council would need to ensure that such transport is PROVIDED before it is able to PROMOTE it!
The answer is more than to:
- “ensure adequate parking control is in place for special events”
In my opinion it is neither fair nor reasonable to just stop people bringing their cars without providing viable alternatives. More work and transport improvements are required before this could be considered achievable.
PS. With regard to your policy above of “promoting healthy and environmentally sustainable methods of transport that minimise harmful emissions and energy consumption including those that involve physical activity” – my dad has a hybrid car – does that mean these restrictions don’t apply to us or does being a Celtic supporter nullify that?
I look forward to your response in due course
PS. I finally got round to taking the BT Sports “holiday”. They offer you one month credit or to donate it to an NHS charity but as this might be NHS England I said to credit my account. I have given it to the local food bank who are really struggling just now. I will add my gym membership which is also giving me a “holiday” as I pay these by direct debit and I am still working and getting fully paid so it’s kind of like free money!!!!
Above article by PADDYSMAW,and received with grateful thanks. As ever,we are always on the lookout for such contributions as Article of the Day. Relieve the tedium of looking at the four walls around you. Fire them in to us and we will gladly publish. Mail Mahe on