RESTRICTIONS are set to be rolled out at Celtic Park and Ibrox to “protect” residents from “unacceptable” parking.

Work on event day parking zones at both grounds had started pre-pandemic, but they were dropped due to the disruption caused by Covid.

Council officials have said efforts are once again underway to introduce the zones, and they could be in place by the end of May next year.

One councillor, Cecilia O’Lone, said the situation at Celtic Park was “horrendous at times”.

Another councillor, Jon Molyneux, said people “serially park where they like” in areas such as Dumbreck, Craigton and Ibrox. He wants to see persistent offenders tackled, as he believes some fans are willing to split the cost of a fine.

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Celtic and Rangers — and thousands of fans — objected to the previous plans, and public hearings were set to be held before the pandemic brought a halt to proceedings.

A council official said parking zones are being developed to “protect the residential areas and to improve enforcement during events which has been a focus of contention for those living in and around these areas”.

Event day parking zones allow residents and businesses to use permits to park as they would on non-match days. Residents’ visitor permits can also be purchased.

Under the original plans, restrictions would have started three hours before kick-off and ended one hour after the final whistle. Drivers who parked in the zone without a permit could have faced £60 fines.

At a council meeting this week, Labour's O’Lone said she receives a lot of complaints about match day parking when “cars just seem to park where they want”.

“I take in the Calton ward but also don’t live that far from Celtic Park,” she said. “It’s just horrendous at times. I’m actually a big believer that cars shouldn’t be allowed in the area at all, but we don’t have a good transport system that supports that.”

She asked whether officials had talked to public transport operators about “how we alleviate matchday problems”.

The National: Hampden Park

An official said at Hampden Park (above) there is a “close working relationship with bus operators”.  He added: “We encourage the stadia to engage with public transport providers because we feel it is their responsibility to be providing public transport for their supporters.

“What we are trying to do is look after the road network and look after the local communities with the proposals that we are taking forward.”

O’Lone said the situation is “actually getting worse” and, since the athletes’ village was built in Dalmarnock, it is “no go on match days”. “We have to take a much stronger approach to it. It’s unacceptable for people who live there at the moment whenever there is a match on.”

Green councillor Molyneux said he would like to see a policy to address “persistent offending” as well as escalating fines like the ones issued for repeated breaches of the city’s Low Emission Zone rules.

He said: “I guess this is specifically a thing on match day travel, if you’ve got a car full, in my ward [Pollokshields], people going to Rangers’ games, splitting the PCN [penalty charge notice] between five of you, you might just write it off as a cost of going to the game.”

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An official confirmed they would be looking at how to reduce persistent offending. A report to councillors added officials are in “the final stages of appointing a consultant to assist with public engagement and the statutory process” around event day parking zones.

It stated: “Subject to the number of objections and any challenges we may receive, the implementation of the zones is currently expected to come into effect by the end of May 2024.”

A zone is already in place at Hampden Park but councillors asked whether this could be extended. Labour's John Carson said parking was “overspilling” into areas outside the zone.

Green councillor Holly Bruce said she receives “a lot of emails about Battlefield and King’s Park” and would like to see the zone expanded.