Pavement change pros and cons

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A new footpath development at Kessington to encourage greater use of the shops has received a mixed reaction from traders.

The lowered pavement, improved road signage, removal of bollards and wheelie bins at the front of the shops on the A81 Milngavie Road - which was done within the 10 week slot estimate by East Dunbartonshire Council, has proved popular with many, although some traders are not happy with it.

Neil Ferguson, owner of Laptop and PC Doctor in Milngavie Road, said: “It’s a big improvement. It’s made the area more attractive and you can actually see the shops now. Previously we were finding a lot of older customers were struggling across the road, having to avoid traffic and there was a lip going up the kerb which could be an issue.”

Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and regeneration, added: “This excellent project is part of a wider scheme to encourage greater active travel movement and economic opportunities in Bearsden.

However not everyone has welcomed the new pavement layout. Tony Tsui, owner of the Ruby Inn Chinese take-away, said some cars have been parking on the pavement very close to his shops and the new entrance layout makes it easy to speed into the parking area.

He said: “Since all the bollards have been removed, there is practically no height difference between the road surface and the pavement. Two weekends ago there were numerous cars parking up on the pavement. I don’t think they realise they have left the road surface.

“A further concern is that the car park entrance is wide and cars are exiting Milngavie Road into the carpark at speeds up to 30mph and are liable to run into someone exiting a parking space.”

Thomas Glen, director of development and regeneration, said: “It is disappointing that this trader is unhappy with this one element of the improvement works which have otherwise been welcomed by the business community. By lowering kerbs, reducing street furniture and improving street lighting we have made the area more welcoming and accessible for shoppers, particularly those with mobility problems. We have maintained contact with traders throughout the works and will continue this while we monitor it as it beds in.”