Banking on a parking place in the centre of Ellon

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Let’s hear it for the Ellon town centre bank which has transformed its image, sprucing up its facade, while smartening up its car park, making it a prime area to leave your vehicle before embarking on a shopping spree.

Not that would be parkers should be using this nicely-appointed facility, as it is still a private car park for the exclusive use of those using the bank. Just try telling that to those car owners cramming into the area adjacent to the bank.

Notwithstanding the problems created by the illegal parkers I am mightily impressed by the make-over which adds to the feelgood factor in the town centre much of it due to the attractive hanging baskets provided by Ellon Civic Pride.

Significantly one of the few businesses not to have a flower basket is another of the town centre banks who thought at £25 per year it was too expensive for them.

But while one bank has been winning the praise of the public another has been annoying those of you who used its car park after business hours, as a consequence of locking the gate at closing time you can no longer use the facility after 5pm.

A situation that nothing can be done about, as I assume its car park is a private one, which means the owners can do pretty well as they like.

Nevertheless, it seems a very hostile stance to take towards the public, though again I concede it is the right of the car park owners to open and close as they please.

In truth, I don’t have a great deal of time for members of the public who would abandon their vehicles at the nearest point to where they are to conduct their business, selfishly creating problems with their double parking, and generally being anti-social.

We are clearly not going to get round the parking issue easily, though the length of time Aberdeenshire Council are taking to implement a parking strategy has become quite embarrassing. Perhaps the idea of on street parking discussed and agreed over a year ago has been shelved. I certainly was never in favour of such a doubtful strategy, envisaging it as a concept designed to create chaos.

Can you imagine the difficulty created for drivers of buses and heavy vehicles in for example Bridge Street in Ellon where it is difficult enough to find your way from one end to the other, given the selfish attitudes of drivers, some of who break the law when getting cash from the two ATMs on the street.

Ellon is in fact set to get busier as from September 25 when a leading supermarket is going to open its doors to the public.

The arrival of a shopping giant should be welcomed, especially if it boosts trade among existing shopping outlets. I shall watch developments with great interest, even if it might be hard to find a place to park.