Please take more of my money PKC

15 Jan

leisurepoolIt’s January, I don’t think swimming is top of anyone’s “What shall we do today?” list, it’s miserable out there. I take Sprog 3 to swimming lessons at Perth Leisure Pool, if you don’t get them in at 3 you don’t get them in at all unless you are prepared to wait anything from a year upwards for a space. I question the value of “teaching” him to swim at 3 but he has a place and we toodle along every Thursday for a splash around. There are 8 children in his class and 8 children in the class before him, so a maximum of 16 cars in the car park were parents taking their littlies to lessons. There were 5 adults in the leisure pool, so add them in and our total is now 21 cars. The training pool is booked by schools during term time,  so 1 bus. Next door is Dewars Centre which has 8 curling lanes, so assuming there was a curling tournament on, 4 in each team, 2 teams per lane, and we have 64 people curling. Let’s be generous and say every curler brought a supporter along and they all drove to the ice rink in their own cars. We now have a totally unrealistic figure, for a Thursday morning in January, of 149 cars parked and using the facilities. I am being way generous. There could have been a huge conference on at the Dewars Centre, but that doesn’t explain why the only spaces to be found were in their car park and not the pool’s.

dewarsrink2So I couldn’t get parked at the pool but I eventually found spaces in the car park underneath Dewars Centre, shown in this photo uncharacteristically deserted, taken from a 2001 BBC article on the Scottish Conservative Conference held there hahaha. Anyway, I did a quick count of the cars. Parked at the pool? 95. Parked outside the ice rink? Between 50 and 60. Parked underneath the ice rink? Over 150. Both facilites are obviously staffed but ignoring them and being uber-generous allowing for 149 facilities users, there had to be at least another 150 cars abusing the free parking.

When will Perth & Kinross Council start charging for parking? Why, instead of raising money are they spending money to create additional parking spaces? Not wishing to be un-PC and all, but I am pretty certain these new spaces will be disabled spaces. This will result in a net gain of ZERO – at the moment the only spaces that are guaranteed to be free are the current batch of disabled ones. In terms of visitor numbers, this is one of Scotland’s big tourist attractions and must bring in a huge amount of money to Perth and Kinross, but you can’t get near the damn place.

The same problem used to be experienced at Bell’s Sports Centre but since introducing charges, whilst the car park has remained busy, it is no longer open to abuse. We’re not talking whacking huge charges, I think it’s 20p for 2 hours or something, it’s not much anyway but enough to stop people parking there all day and sodding off to work. It allows service users access.

The Atrium is across the road from the pool. It’s a council building where the education department’s IT is based and… the traffic wardens! I wonder if council staff are hogging all the free spaces at the pool? I cannot for the life of me imagine any other explanation for the council not milking the public for another few pence. Oh the irony, traffic wardens abusing parking facililtes, my sides are splitting here.

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