Angus CouncilTel: 08452 777 778

Issued: 01 September 2004

Friday Closing day For High Street Consultation

The closing date for the consultation on options for new High Street traffic management measures for Montrose has been extended to Friday, 3 September.

Infrastructure Services convener David Selfridge said: "There has been a very positive response so far with many people picking up consultation packs either online at the ACCESS office, Montrose library or at the recent display in Tesco. The closing date is Friday and I would encourage everyone interested in making their views known to return their questionnaire by then.

"Following an extensive investigation, the council initially looked at 12 options for the High Street. These were then whittled down to the six most viable, of which pedestrianisation is only one idea. We are keen to get the views of as many people as possible - residents, shoppers, retailers, taxi drivers etc - on all of the six options, to try to ensure that all interests are represented when the council considers the findings of the consultation."

The traffic management measures were prompted by ongoing concerns about the operation of some of the current traffic management arrangements so the council drafted a number of alternative options for consideration and consultation.

The most hotly debated option is the pedestrianisation of a short section of the High Street between the Town House and Peel Place (from the Steeple Pharmacy to the 99p Shop).

Councillor Selfridge once again stressed that the council's aim in looking at all the options for traffic arrangements in the High Street is to encourage retail activity and create a pleasant shopping environment.

"Pedestrianisation can have a very positive effect on town centres, making them more attractive to shoppers, but I fully appreciate retailers' concerns about such a significant change. However the idea appears to have its supporters among residents so it will be interesting to get an overall view from returned questionnaires.

"Local taxi drivers have also taken the opportunity to press for the relocation of the taxi rank from Hume Street to the High Street so in considering the responses we need to find a way of taking account of these various and sometimes conflicting views."

Other options include mini roundabouts for the High Street/Hume Street and High Street/George Street junctions and a passenger shelter for the top of the Hume Street taxi rank. Also being considered is the parking of wedding and funeral vehicles on the periphery of the slabbed area in front of the Old Kirk and the possible re-location of the bus stop from Hume Street to Western Road.

The council is not proposing any changes to the current on-street parking arrangements on the High Street north of Hume Street or the traffic lights at Murray Street. The widened footway and footway build-outs on the west side of the High Street are also recommended for retention. Each of these measures have contributed to the reduction in unnecessary through traffic and improved pedestrian safety and access for disabled road users.

A display outlining all of the options will remain in the library until Friday and consultation packs are still available from the ACCESS office, via ACCESSLine on 08452 777 778. The findings of the High Street consultation will be presented at the area forum on 29 September and the council's Infrastructure Services Committee will consider a report in due course.