Long-term parking strategy much needed for Ellon

All the indications seem to indicate that Aberdeenshire Council is about to relax its parking regulations in a bid to appease motorists who in the main are not prepared to walk the length of their vehicle after they have found a parking space.

The idea of having free parking times to accommodate town centre parking in its various towns around the county is all very well, but surely not a strategy for the long term?

Motorists are already pushing the boundaries, parking as far as I can see anywhere, and everywhere expect in the designated pay parking areas around the area.

Ellon is particularly bad, as witnessed when you walk around the town at busy times during the week.

In particular, I cannot believe the chaos in Bridge Street where motorists seem to think it is their right to park on the yellow lines allocated for vehicles to unload at the shopping outlets in the busy street.

Interestingly, the time of the greatest chaos is between 5pm and 7pm when “stressed” drivers are making their weary ways home from Aberdeen.

These same drivers seem to think that popping out of the car to use the ATM, buy a newspaper, or get a take-away does not constitute a parking problem, even if is illegal.

In fairness to the local police, there have been a number of tickets dished out to errant drivers, much to their disgust as this area has appeared in their book to be a free parking zone, especially designed for their convenience.

Ironically, we have a bus stop in the middle of the street, which has become a nightmare for our poor put upon bus drivers who at the aforesaid times are unable to use the bay allocated to them.

There is of course no easy solution to the problem, unless the council throws open all the existing pay areas, though even then there is no guarantee that selfish motorists will use them. All rather sad, and so, so unnecessary.

On a more cheerful, positive note I am delighted to see Aberdeen FC coming good after years in the wilderness, poised to win not one cup, but two.

The area is all the better for having a successful sporting organisation who can fly the flag for the North-east. It really is uplifting, for despite my huge reservations about the beautiful game, I will rejoice as much as anyone when the Dons lift the League Cup on Sunday. I just hope I have not put a jinx on Derek McInnes and his lads.

In the longer term, I am equally hopeful the young manager will stick with Aberdeen, and not be lured by Glasgow gold to manage Rangers, as all the central belt pundits seem to imagine will happen. Their arrogance is quite breathtaking, for why should McInnes leave for one of the lesser lights in the country?