Councillor demands CCTV to catch rogue Peterhead motorists

Councillor Stephen Calder says the next step in stopping motorists using Marischal Street is to fine them
Councillor Stephen Calder says the next step in stopping motorists using Marischal Street is to fine them

A Peterhead councillor is calling for cameras to be used to catch motorists driving illegally on the town’s Marischal Street.

Stephen Calder has warned that someone is going to be seriously injured in light of the volume of traffic using the pedestrianised area.

And he is now seeking a scheme similar to bus-lane cameras in Aberdeen to catch offenders and to enable fines to be issued.

Mr Calder told the Buchanie that he had personally witnessed a child almost being knocked down during Scottish Week when a car drove up Marischal Street.

He told us: “Despite having raised this serious issue with both Aberdeenshire Council and Police Scotland since the start of the year, we still find ourselves in a situation where this route is still not being properly policed.

“We are not just talking about one or two vehicles here - it’s a constant flow of vans and cars.

Mr Calder said that existing signage was clear and should be observed by motorists at all times.

A spokesperson for Aberdeenshire Council confirmed: “Marischal Street is a pedestrian zone with access to commercial vehicles only between midnight and 11am, and from 4pm to midnight each day.

“Shop customers should not be parking on Marischal street at any time, as it is an enforceable offence.

“It has also been made clear that there is no exemption for blue badge holders.”

But despite that confirmation, Mr Calder feels more must be done to deter motorists from using the route, saying: “Quite simply, no-one is enforcing it.

“Until we take a firm stance and take action then the traffic will continue.

“Since earlier this year, I have made repeated attempts to get the police and roads team round the table to discuss a clear course of action to no avail.

“It is now time to take action and I will be calling for the introduction of cameras similar to those monitoring bus lanes in Aberdeen to identify offenders.

“I am not a big fan of the CCTV-state but once fines start being handed out then I am convinced this problem will stop and pedestrians will once again be able to walk safely on Marischal Street.”

Mr Calder is also reiterating calls for police action on motorists who flaunt the no-parking signs on Chapel Street.

It was re-opened to traffic on a two-year trial which ends in November. Yet countless drivers flout the law and continue to block buses at the town centre stop.

Mr Calder said: “When Chapel Street was opened to traffic, bollards were positioned with the express role of stopping vehicles parking. But they simply now park on the street which is hampering the movement of busines and other vehicles.

“Stagecoach is quite rightly fed-up with the unneccesary delays being caused by inconsiderate motorists and I would implore Police Scotland to take action.”

Meanwhile, Mr Calder has refuted suggestions he acted in an aggressive manner towards a Blue Badge holder recently.

The driver claimed her disabled son was left traumatised when Mr Calder jumped in front of her car and remonstrated with her about driving on Marischal Street.

She has since reported the matter to the police but Mr Calder denied he had acted in an aggressive manner, saying: “I don’t shout at people and I did not act offensively.”