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Controversial charge for Glasgow Christmas lights switch-on scrapped

Controversial charge for Glasgow Christmas lights switch-on scrapped

Plans to charge people to watch the switch-on of Glasgow's Christmas lights have been scrapped following a mixed response from the public.

STV Glasgow reported last month that those hoping to attend the George Square festive celebration would have to pay for a ticket.

Tickets were to be distributed through a ballot with a maximum of six tickets per household.

It was hoped that by imposing a £2.50 charge for tickets, those who had been successful in securing them would definitely show up at the event.

The annual display has a capacity limit of just 13,000, however last year saw a record number of 54,000 applications being made, equating to 250,000 individual tickets requested.

Despite the huge interest, 2000 allocated tickets went unused last year prompting the decision to charge a modest fee for entry to the 2015 event.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

Plans to introduce a charge were met with a mixed response with many agreeing that it was unfair to those who had little disposable income.

As a result, the team at Glasgow Life reconsidered the cost and agreed that it was best to scrap it this year.

However, they have not completely ruled out plans to bring about a charge next year so that those who get tickets actually use them.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

Tickets this year will be allocated to 93% of Glasgow residents (compared to 80% last year) while 7% will be given to those living outside the city.

Glasgow Lord Provost Sadie Docherty said: "We know how important the Glasgow Christmas lights switch-on is for so many people.

"Last year, George Square was 15% below capacity and 2000 people were needlessly disappointed because tickets were requested and not used on the night.

"We will be announcing details of the ballot for 2015 shortly and the tickets will remain free with 93% going to Glasgow addresses.

"We expect demand to be very high again and I hope people only request the tickets they need to attend this wonderful family event so as many people as possible get the chance to join us at the start of Glasgow Loves Christmas."

The Christmas lights switch-on in George Square takes place on November 15.

Glasgow on Ice will kick off from November 27 until Hogmanay, excluding Christmas Day.

There will also be fairground rides, food, drink and stalls as part of Glasgow Loves Christmas at George Square.

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