Council to face cobble issues

ABERDEENSHIRE council is set to begin repair work on Peterhead’s controversial pedestrianised town centre, where walkers are facing continuous problems underfoot.

Issues were raised to the council by members of the Peterhead Community Council, after they felt that the cobbled streets were a danger to walkers.

And community council secretary Gordon Farman, expressed delight that the council had taken their views onboard.

“Peterhead Community Council is delighted that Aberdeenshire Council are listening to the views of residents in Peterhead,” he said.

“We found from our stand at the Scottish Week Trade Fair that members of the public felt the council weren’t listening to their opinions, so this is really good to know that we are being heard and it is taking action.

“The problems in the town centre were discussed at the last meeting and raised with Aberdeenshire Council. The cobbles at the moment are potentially dangerous to shop users and it looks like the council will begin re-pointing the stones so they are more level.

“The Trade Fair went really well and we had a great response at our stand, a number of questionnaires were filled out and it was a really great opportunity for us to speak to members of the public and get their views.

“So far, we’ve found that people feel the town centre in Peterhead is the biggest problem, and we’re going to look into this at our next meeting.”

An Aberdeenshire Council employee was seen taking measurements at the busy Marischal Street last week.

A council spokesman said: “We will carry out works to a section of Marischal Street to repair mortar between cobbles where it has eroded over the years, as part of our maintenance programme.

“Works will begin later this year and continue in coming years as funding becomes available.”

Jimmy Buchan who campaigned for an upgrade during his 2009 election bid said: “I am delighted that after 18 months the council has found some money to address such a serious problem.

“The town centre is the heart of Peterhead, and is still the main gathering point for many residents, we need to keep it at a high standard so people want to keep coming otherwise it will be an empty, lifeless place.

Peterhead businessman Ian Devenish, owns nine retail units in the town and firmly believes the cobbles are partly to blame for the decline of the town centre.

“The cobbles have been a complete waste of time and are dangerous - particularly in the winter months,” he said.

“I think the cobbles have had a huge impact on trade in the town, Peterhead used to be buzzing but that just isn’t the case anymore. I personally think that Chapel Street should be re-opened with access to Broad Street.”