Taskforce to debate future of Peterhead's Chapel Street

Councillors heard that unattended parked cars often cause the street to be blocked when buses are legally stationed at the bus stop
Councillors heard that unattended parked cars often cause the street to be blocked when buses are legally stationed at the bus stop

A trio of local councillors are to lead a working party to assess the future of Peterhead’s Chapel Street.

Aberdeenshire Council's Buchan Area Committee agreed to the formation of a members officer working group to undertake a review of traffic management on the town centre route and consider various options for the wider town centre in general.

Councillors Norman Smith, Dianne Beagrie and Anne Allan have been tasked with heading the group which will bring together council officers, Police Scotland, bus operators and other agencies to thrash out a solution over the next six-months.

But councillors were advised by local roads and landscape manager Philip Leiper that any subsequent changes to the Traffic Management Order would then take a further nine months to process.

A two-year trial to re-introduce cars began in November 2016 in the hope it would encourage footfall in the town centre and boost trade.

The committee heard today (Tuesday) that that hasn’t been clearly demonstrated and has only fuelled problems with illegal parking and road safety concerns.

Among the identified options to be discussed will be the re-introduction of the previous traffic ban traffic, a continuation of the current condition, provision for cyclists on all routes within the town centre and creation of a taxi rank on Queen Street from 10pm to 4am from Justrite to to Mambo's Bar.

The group will also review and re-write the current traffic order to ensure the restrictions are clear and understandable and clearer promotion of the laws surrounding loading and disabled bay.

Peterhead councillor Dianne Beagrie has also asked for a review of the bus stops on Chapel Street.

Councillors heard that unattended parked cars often cause the street to be blocked when buses are legally stationed at the bus stop.

There has also been an increase in the volume of traffic illegally using Marischal Street and a growing inappropriate use of loading and disabled bays.

Peterhead Community Council aired its concerns that due to the opening of Chapel Street it has made the town centre unsafe to pedestrians as members of the public think the whole town centre is a “free for all”.