GOUROCK businesses are ‘pooling’ together to raise concerns about parking now that the outdoor swimming season is under way.

Shop-owners on Kempock Street say the opening of Gourock Pool creates so much extra demand for spaces that trade can be affected.

They add that confusion over parking zones in the town already means that some shoppers are bypassing the town for fear of getting a penalty ticket.

Councillor Lynne Quinn has taken up the case and is working closely with shopkeepers, who have agreed to put colour-coded maps of the zones in their windows.

Billy and Eileen McKechnie, who own Domus Interiors in Kempock Street, hope that a way can be found to ensure that shops stay busy. 

Mr McKechnie said: “The Gourock Pool car parking section is for three hours parking and it will be very busy.

“Traders have experienced a significant drop in footfall since the parking restrictions have been introduced and we also had roadworks to struggle with.

“In the last two years five shops have closed.

“Lots of people drive around Gourock and if they can’t get parked they just drive on — they don’t know the regulations and if they get a ticket they won’t come back.

“I was parking in the three hour zone, got caught up with a customer in the shop and went back to find a £30 ticket fine.

“We’re a street of independent traders offering different services, retail, leisure and food. 

“It’s a unique little gem and it makes us want to keep going.”

Mr McKechnie says the unrestricted section of the waterfront car park is always full, with many train commuters using it when they should be parking at the railway station.

He told the Tele: “It means shoppers can’t park at the far end of Kempock Street.”

Councillor Quinn is looking for solutions to the issue.
She is keen to encourage use of public transport, by promoting the town’s train and bus links.

Cllr Quinn said: “Parking was raised at a traders’ meeting I facilitated and some potential solutions were identified to try to alleviate their concerns.

“I will be exploring these over the coming weeks.

“I am keen to ensure that Gourock and all that it has to offer is as accessible as possible to all. 

“We have a fantastic train and bus service and I would like to promote that a bit more.”

The next traders’ meeting will be focused around promotion of Gourock to visitors outwith Inverclyde.

Anyone interested should email lynne.quinn@inverclyde.gov.uk