Glasgow skatepark under M8 faces closure amid anti-social behaviour fears

A petition has been set up to try and halt the closure with users arguing that the space brings 'joy to the community' and has helped transform the once 'eyesore' space into a community hub.
-Credit: (Image: Save Glasgow's Kingston DIY Skatepark)

A community skate park under the M8 in Glasgow is set to close following concerns over anti-social behaviour.

Organisers of the Kingston DIY Community Skatepark have been left 'blindsided' after being told that the converted space could be fenced off. Amey, which maintains the road for Transport Scotland, say the decision was made over reports of drug use, vandalism and fire-raising.

However, founders argue that the space is an important community space which reduces anti-social behaviour in the area. They say that the former 'eyesore' area, which was transformed in 2020 into a skatepark, promotes creativity and brings joy to the area.

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Stuart Ramage, 29, who founded the park with the help of friends, spoke to the BBC about the decision. He said: "This came out of nowhere," he said. "There was no warning, we've just been told their decision."

"When stuff like this happens, people are more than ready to stand up to it. We've had comments from parents whose kids have lessons at the skatepark - people across Scotland use the space and they want to save the place.

"And it's a greater issue than just that - free, outdoor, community spaces like this in Scotland are underfunded and often lack proper thought."

A petition has been set up to try and halt the closure with users arguing that the space brings 'joy to the community' and has helped transform the once 'eyesore' space into a community hub. Organisers say it promotes creativity and reduces anti-social behaviour.

Over 3000 people have already signed it since it was launched on Friday, June 20.

The petition reads: "This DIY skatepark has transformed a previously derelict area into a positive space that brings joy to our local community. Transport Scotland, however, plans to lock it up.

"This decision is a blow to the community. The skatepark has catalysed a transformation within our neighbourhood. Once an eyesore, the space is now a hub of activity. It promotes exercise, creativity, and togetherness among our younger generation, fostering a sense of community and the reduction of anti-social behaviour.

"The benefits of such recreational spaces should not be understated. Studies consistently show that local amenities like skateparks can contribute positively to the mental and physical wellbeing of users, most especially the youth (Public Health England, 2016).

"Let's send a strong message to Transport Scotland that Kingston DIY Skatepark is more than just a collection of ramps and rails - it is, indeed, an integral part of our community. We seek your support to save this invaluable space and prevent it from being locked up. Please sign this petition to show your support for the preservation of Glasgow's Kingston DIY Skatepark. Your signature is not just a signature, but a stand for community resilience and youth empowerment."

However, Amey argue the site has suffered from "significant anti-social behaviour issues".

A spokesperson said: "These behaviours include vandalism, unsolicited graffiti, fire-raising, drug use, and the littering of drug paraphernalia and littering.

"Amey has a duty of care to ensure these areas are kept clean, tidy, and safe for use for all road users, and while our patrols do all they can to monitor these areas they cannot provide an effective overall solution."

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