CONSISTENCY is the hobgoblin of petty minds – no, not President Donald Trump, as this phrase is attributed to Winston Churchill. Inconsistency is thus justified as the watchword of Glasgow City Council: in parking rules, bus priorities, traffic signs, recycling instructions.

In Glasgow, parking charges vary from street to street. In the west end the times that charges apply can end at 6pm, 10pm and midnight. Midnight applies seven days a week in Finnieston with a maximum stay of two hours in an area devoted to cafes, restaurants, music venues, independent shops and art galleries.

To add to the confusion the council wants to introduce parking charges seven days a week in city centre bays which are currently free on a Sunday.

When asked to explain, the council points to a budget decision – revenue raising for the council – but this means revenue reduction for local organisations.

More bizarrely, this regime is to encourage turnover in parking bays whether you are in the middle of a concert or a meal.

Worryingly noticeable is the turnover – often closure – in businesses relying on mobile customers.

Inconsistency is also found in the placing of parking meters. Some are at the inner edge of the pavement. Others are at the outer edge and get little benefit from street lights on dreich, moonless nights.

A light meter reading at night by a specialist engineer gave a reading of 3.6 lux (the unit of illuminance) at a parking meter. This meant he found it impossible to read the instructions.

Complete darkness is zero lux. The Health and Safety Executive minimum recommended for a lorry park is five lux where there's movement of people, machines and vehicles.

A torch for workers is also advised as light meter reading showed that the city council breaches the HSE guidance on minimum lux for those working on some city streets. Some councils now provide headgear with torches for workers. Workers at East Dunbartonshire Council are given head torches on early shifts for vehicle checks.

It's no surprise that last year millions of pounds were raised by Scottish councils from parking fines, plus revenue from bus lane fines.

(Joy unconfined, recently I found an off-peak space with no charge so had a three-course meal to celebrate.)

On mainland Europe, it is common to find parking free in the evenings and at lunchtimes for up to three hours. Visit Scotland but don't expect leisurely dining in Glasgow, and expect to pay up to £4 an hour if you park in the city centre for a coffee break.

Such visitors will also be bemused by restrictions such as bus gates, and bus lanes which vary from 24/7 to rush hour only, including Saturdays, causing drivers to develop an allergy to the inside lane. The inside lane becomes the fast lane but only use in slow moving traffic. Confused? You will be.

Further inconsistency is seen at bus stops: some are given pavement extensions, some have inshots, some raised kerbs: at Anniesland Cross there is an example of each one of the three. Witnessed recently was a scooter-mounted warden issuing a ticket to a car in a bus bay recently extended to fit one of the extinct bendy buses, reducing available parking, of course.

Traffic signs also lack consistency. On Great Western Road heading to the Clyde Tunnel, I notice that the overhead gantry sign is different from the sign on the tarmac.

Other signs on the tarmac are sprung on drivers immediately you turn a corner. In Greece, I got used to confusion on the roads with STOP signs occasionally hidden behind trees in full bloom (no more, as I have just given the council an idea to plant more sign-obscuring evergreens).

Such overhead gantries are not just used for important alerts: they advise drivers to keep the windscreen clean, check your tyre pressure. What next: check your coupon, your flies, your stocking seams?

It is inconsistent to have the injunction to "Drive safely" on overhead gantries adjacent to giant illuminated advertising screens. Screens with moving images are also sited adjacent to dual carriageways close to traffic lights.

I suspect a risk assessment would advise against such distractions aimed at gaining the attention of drivers. The upside is that the giant screens can be used for live coverage of Scotland's games in the EUFA Nations League next year.

Recycling requirements are inconsistent: one street can stipulate only food waste in the designated bins while the next street wants food and garden waste in their bins. Let's hope Brian Maule doesn't recommend cooking with flowers as I will be baffled as to where to put leftovers. Even with ten bins available (in three different colours) none accepts Tetrapak cartons so a trip to the recycling centre is still required.

All councils have suffered budget cuts from austerity and see the motorist as an easy target, especially as they are often confused by inconsistency. Consistency has no resource cost. But please not consistency at maximum restrictions.

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