Traffic changes could boost town centre trade

THE ONE-WAY system in the streets around the centre of Arbroath could be in line for a radical overhaul in a bid to attract more shoppers to the High Street.

Angus Council is to carry out a “detailed investigation” into the possibility of allowing two-way traffic on Brothock Bridge once again after councillors on the infrastructure services committee agreed to commission the review.

This time last year major concerns were voiced about the lack of business on the High Street and the number of shops lying empty after a string of retailers pulled out of the town centre.

It was suggested at the time that access to the main shopping area was confusing for motorists, especially those entering the town from the south on the dual carriageway.

And after several elected members took their concerns direct to the head of roads, they have agreed to look into the possibility of making big changes to the traffic system so more people are encouraged into the centre of town.

As well as the possibility of making Brothock Bridge two way, the council will also look into making the entrance to the town centre at East Grimsby and Burnside Drive more clearly defined with more signage to direct drivers.

There may also be the possibility of changing the Marketgate/Ladybridge Street car park into a short stay facility, as the local authority hope this will generate a higher turnover of spaces.

Councillor Donald Morrison, who is part of a group hoping to inject life back into the High Street, welcomed the investigation by the council saying anything that would entice shoppers into the High Street should be looked into.

He added: “The dual carriageway is designed to push traffic through Arbroath but drivers from the south could find themselves leaving the town as fast as they come in.

“The current traffic system doesn’t draw people into the High Street and the entrance at East Grimsby needs to be better signposted.

“There are also plans to look into changing Brothock Bridge to two way, but I would think a lot of issues would have to be looked at with the traffic lights before that can progress.

“These plans are obviously just at the consultation stage at the minute so hopefully the council can get a lot of feedback from community councils and the public.”

The report containing the proposals for the traffic system also included possible changes to parking in the West Port and Keptie Street areas.

Plans could include formalising a taxi stance on the forecourt of Arbroath railway station and the possibility of creating a long stay car park on land owned by Network Rail next to Helen Street.