Rugby Park match day parking arrangements agreed

The Council’s Cabinet has this week agreed amended parking arrangements which will introduce restrictions in certain streets and at certain junctions around Rugby Park on match days. 

Last March, Cabinet agreed that the Head of Roads should commence the statutory process for implementing a new Traffic Regulation Order to address the road safety concerns created by match day parking at Rugby Park. The proposals included a mixture of permanent restrictions at junctions and part time restrictions in certain streets.

Following a consultation period, objections were received from 52 objectors in relation to the proposals contained within the advertised Order. Due to correspondence between Officers and the objectors, 49 objections were subsequently withdrawn and three now remain.

Of the 49 withdrawn objections, the majority were raised in relation to the fact that the Order planned to impose permanent waiting/loading restrictions on lengths of road opposite junctions. After further review, Officers agreed to remove these areas from the proposals concentrating rather on applying restrictions to junction radii only (the curved sections of a T-junction) where inconsiderate parking compromises sightlines. In doing so, Officers are satisfied that the proposals will still achieve the desired outcomes in relation to junction safety.

Only the streets where there is a clear and obvious need for action have been included in the Order. The streets subject to part time restrictions will operate in a similar way to the existing match day coning arrangements and, ultimately, it will be the residents who will be the main beneficiaries. Where permanent waiting/loading restrictions are proposed at various junctions, these proposals are based on safe parking guidance highlighted within the Highway Code which should be encouraged at all times, not just on match days.

Some objectors mentioned the introduction of a permit scheme but there are concerns around the effectiveness of any such scheme. Modern permit schemes are administered on a virtual basis with information transmitted electronically to a Parking Attendant’s handheld device. With nothing physical to display within a vehicle to indicate that a permit scheme is in operation, visitors may ignore any associated signage and be tempted or indeed encouraged to park within the streets after seeing other vehicles parked there. It would also be up to residents within a designated area to apply for an annual permit providing relevant evidence in support of their applications to prove residency and vehicle ownership.

Cabinet has therefore agreed that a permit scheme is not required and agreed to amend the previously advertised Order to allow for the easing of proposed restrictions at some of the affected junctions. The Head of Roads advised that Ayrshire Roads Alliance will take into account reasons for residents unable to move their vehicles and review each request on merit.

The new arrangements will also support the Council’s Climate Change Strategy as the introduction of permanent line and sign arrangements will replace the current need for cones to be placed on the carriageway each match day. This will remove labour intensive multiple-stop vehicle journeys and help to reduce carbon emissions.

Councillor Neal Ingram, Cabinet Spokesperson for Roads, said: “Although we appreciate the objectors’ opinions, we believe that the proposed scheme is the most appropriate way to manage parking within the Rugby Park catchment area. It will address long standing concerns in relation to indiscriminate parking as well as helping to maintain emergency evacuation routes.

“These proposals have been carefully considered following an extensive public engagement exercise and have been refined as necessary in consultation with Kilmarnock Football Club Safety Officers who have been fully consulted throughout the process. Our Head of Roads will now go ahead with the process to get the Order implemented and we hope to see real improvements in relation to match day parking in the near future.”