Suggestions that parking in East High Street be reviewed to accommodate the town’s new Post Office have been slammed by Forfar community councillors.
Post Office Limited is moving the branch from West High Street despite concerns about restricted parking at the new premises being raised by the public, local representatives and the country’s main consumer watchdog.
In a letter to Isobel Ross, community council chairwoman, which was discussed at the community council’s last meeting, the company said the main feedback raised during the public consultation was about lack of parking and traffic congestion around 6 East High Street, due mainly to the pedestrian crossing directly outside.
The letter, from Suzanna Richardson, regional network manager, also stated that the case had been escalated by statutory consultee Citizens Advice Scotland due to “significant concerns” about the lack of parking, particularly for disabled customers, and lack of a safe drop-off point for customers with limited mobility.
She said: “I have conducted a further review of this aspect of our proposal. As with the existing branch, whilst there is no parking immediately outside the new site, there is time-restricted roadside parking further along East High Street and West High Street.
“Although this is slightly further away, I am satisfied that parking is broadly comparable to the existing branch and the move will not significantly impede customer access to Post Office services.
“We will also be approaching the relevant authority to ask that existing parking restrictions are reviewed and to suggest the provision of a designated parking bay for blue badge holders nearby, to assist disabled customers.”
But members felt that the parking had not been taken into proper consideration, that local concerns have been ignored and that changes to the current traffic restrictions could lead to congestion on what is already a bottle-neck on the High Street.
Mrs Ross said: “Where do they think these spaces are going to go? It’s far too narrow, a bottle-neck at any time. I told them all this when I met with them in October and I said that if they ask for on-street parking they wouldn’t have the support of Forfar Community Council.”
Councillor Glennis Middleton also pointed out that, even if the request was granted, varying traffic regulations could take up to 18 months due to the legal process Angus Council has to follow.
She added: “I don’t believe we can remove zig-zags from a crossing and, frankly, I don’t see how they can do this without multi-storey parking. I’ve said that this wasn’t the appropriate location, but it’s clear they had made their minds up they had found a cheaper option and were going for it come hell or high water, but now they will just have to live with it.
“There are so many options now for people with services online and parcel courier companies that you don’t have to leave the house to post a parcel, and I think people will vote with their feet.”