Doubt over one-way decision

Councillors have voted to make Canmore Street one way, but some residents are unhappy with the decision claiming that it will be detrimental to the town centre and residents on nearby streets.
Councillors have voted to make Canmore Street one way, but some residents are unhappy with the decision claiming that it will be detrimental to the town centre and residents on nearby streets.

Angus Council has reached the wrong decision in making Canmore Street in Forfar one way, according to one local resident.

Neil Turner said that while he has no objection in principle to the street being one way, he feels the council has gone against the majority of the traffic flow by making it in the south east direction, away from Castle Street

Mr Turner also said that the move will have a knock-on effect of increasing traffic on Queen Street and Green Street.

The introduction of a one-way restriction was put forward as a possible solution to increased traffic on Canmore Street as a result of making a stretch of Castle Street one-way four years ago.

Last August the council launched a consultation exercise after residents raised concerns that the street was unsuitable for the increased volume of vehicles.

BT, which has a telephone exchange building on Canmore Street, objected to the one-way proposal, saying that access to its building is required 24 hours a day for vehicles of up to 38 tonnes.

The telecom company also said that larger vehicles could not enter the site when going forward in a south-east direction and that difficulties were experienced when entering the site in reverse.

In contrast, 22 Canmore Street residents had registered their support for the scheme during the consultation phase.

Mr Turner, who lives and has his business on Queen Street, said he took issue with the council’s assertion that the move would help the free flow of traffic.

He said: “It goes against 90 to 95 per cent of current traffic flow as most people will drive round there if they’ve been looking for parking on Castle Street.

“I’ve knocked on doors in Canmore Street and spoken to shop owners on Castle Street, and no-one had been consulted regarding this.

“I’ve also carried out my own traffic surveys at the corner of the street beside BT and over an hour I’ve seen maybe one car going the way the council is proposing and up to 60 going the other way.

“I’ve also spoken to all sorts of people who have vehicular access on to Queen Street as there will be more queuing at the top of Queen Street to get out on to the High Street than there is at the moment, and the residents there and on Green Street are not happy.

“Why should so many people be adversely affected for the sake of a dozen houses in Canmore Street?”

In his report to the communities committee, which voted in favour of making the street one way, Ian Cochrane, head of technical and property services, said that although the overall level of traffic in Canmore Street is low, the council’s surveys indicated that the majority is travelling in a northerly direction with a high proportion generated by the one-way restriction on Castle Street.

He added: “The proposed direction of flow would remove this unnecessary northbound traffic. Whilst the reduced level of traffic would benefit most local residents, it is accepted that this direction of flow may be of slight disadvantage to a small number of affected residents in that access to their properties when travelling northwards would involve a longer alternate route.”

Mr Cochrane also said that a trial to demonstrate how vehicles access the BT site had also been arranged and while the 7.5 tonne lorry had negotiated the access in an eastbound direction, provided a footway widening was not carried out, there were problems when the vehicle tried to enter in reverse.

It was also unclear how larger lorries would manage and the company has been asked to provide more details.