One-way back on agenda

forfar’s troubled one-way system again came under the spotlight at this month’s meeting of Forfar Community Council.

In particular, members discussed a petition signed by the majority of businesses in Castle Street which called for the decision to introduce a one-way system to be reversed.

The petition, which has been handed in to Angus Council, claims that since the traffic flow was reduced to one-way in June, a number of businesses have, in some instances, registered a “significant” fall in turnover.

Some 62 signatures, representing 92% of the businesses in Castle Street, are on the petition asking for a reversal of the year-long one-way trial system with a return to two-way traffic.

However, the petition raised a number of questions from the floor from community council members.

A number of businesses which were not trading when the original two-way system was in operation, but which had opened after the new one-way system had been introduced, had signed the petition.

Members also questioned why some businesses in the “east and west” legs of Castle Street at the Cross- which have always been one-way - had signed the petition.

Chairman Mrs Isobel Ross said: “They are all trading in the east and west lanes so to me that doesn’t hold water. If it hadn’t been suiting these shops, they wouldn’t be there.”

Other businesses which have no direct access off Castle Street had also signed the petition.

Mrs Ross noted: “There are businesses that have not put their names down so it’s not 100%.”

One member commented: “Can I ask a simple question. If the two-way traffic was to be introduced, would these businesses make more money - yes or no?”

Members also expressed concerns about what the real issues were in Forfar with the new Asda store being mentioned on the petition.

The petition stated: “With the arrival of the new Asda store in Forfar, many existing businesses will find conditions even more challenging and any obstacles threatening their survival should be removed.”

Mrs Ross commented: “I think we have got to get it right here. What are they complaining about? Is it the one-way system, or Asda?”

There were also comments that, if the two-way system is brought back in, then so too would the double yellow lines.

The meeting was reminded that, if the one-way system becomes a permanent feature, then there were plans to widen the pavement to make Castle Street more welcoming for pedestrians.

Mrs Ross continued: “Pedestrians would be able to move about and browse in the windows.”

Community Councillor Avril Simpson added she felt the one-way system was “so much safer” for pedestrians crossing the road.

“When it was two-way it was murder,” she added.

On a more positive note, members noted improvements to the traffic flow in St James Road, now that the West Port traffic lights were back in operation.