Traffic will once more be able to travel on Chapel Street in Peterhead, from next week.
Both Chapel Street and Marischal Street were pedestrianised as part of a Peterhead Town Centre Improvements plan in 2001. Since that time only emergency vehicles, buses and delivery vehicles have been permitted access to these streets.
Works have been ongoing to restore the flow of traffic to Chapel Street in the hope that it will help to regenerate the Peterhead town centre.
Chair of the Buchan Area Committee, Stuart Pratt said: “Following a request from the Peterhead Future Development Group and as a result of a strategic report commissioned by Aberdeenshire Council in 2013 the Buchan Area Committee requested further investigation into the possibility of re-introducing general traffic to Chapel Street and part of Marischal Street, in a one way direction, from Queen Street through to Broad Street.
"Subsequently in April 2015 we on the Buchan Area Committee agreed a report recommending the reintroduction of traffic into these streets for a trial period of up to 2 years.”
The proposed changes required an application to be made to Transport Scotland for the area be designated as a Restricted Parking Zone in order to achieve an acceptable traffic flow and to minimise congestion between Queen Street and Broad Street.
This ‘Restricted Parking Zone’ is effectively a prohibition of waiting and loading, without the need to apply unsightly road markings on the cobbled streets within a designated conservation area. Within the ‘Restricted Parking Zone’ designated loading and disabled parking bays are being provided in the vicinity of Marischal Street and these will be clearly signed.
In order to maintain pedestrian safety in the area granite bollards have been erected at the edge of the footways and, a 20mph speed limit has been introduced.
An existing bus stop on Chapel Street will be relocated and Aberdeenshire Council’s Public Transport Unit are reviewing the location in response to local concerns.
Chapel Street has been closed to buses throughout the recent works but it is due to re-open to buses as before, from Thursday, November 17. Chapel Street will be fully open to traffic from Monday, November. 21
Head of Roads, Landscape Services and Waste, for Aberdeenshire Council, Philip McKay, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused to road users and local businesses during the recent works. With the changes that have been made I urge all road users, particularly pedestrians, to exercise additional caution when using Chapel Street following the re- introduction of all traffic. Officers will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the changes during the two-year trial period”
Councillor David Aitchison, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee added: “I sincerely hope that the re-introduction of traffic to this area of Peterhead will be a success and lead to an increase in business”