Brechiners air concerns over safety measures

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BUSINESSES in St Ninian’s Square have continued their fight against Angus Council’s “safety measures”, which resulted in a number of parking spaces being lost and subsequently led to an outcry from those who trade in this part of the town.

Business have joined forces in their opposition to the moves, which saw the creation of pavement extensions, in a response to “accident statistics.”, by drawing up a petition.

It reads as follows: “We are concerned over the so-called road improvement works taking place at St Ninian’s Square.

“These roadworks are taking place in a conservation area which should not be changed. They are causing issues with parking which will not improve; there are concerns over lorries turning as they can not pass each other.

“All these issues will effect the businesses, church, library and the residents of this area in the short and long term.

“Already there has been a detrimental effect on small businesses in the square and the works have not finished.

“We were not given enough notification or a chance to object to these works at the square either. We call for the road to be put back to how it was before.”

One of the proprietors of the businesses affected, Matthew Neve, of Neve Photography, said the response to the petition initially has been very encouraging.

“We collected over 100 signatures in no time at all.

“It doesn’t matter what age people are, they all seem to be against an idea which has been considered a waste of money and that is the sort of comment we have been hearing over and over again.

“Many people have highlighted the lack of consultation there was with businesses and the home owners in the area before the work went ahead and there have been a number of scathing remarks made.

“Nobody seems to be able to understand where the local authority got the accident statistics from and nobody seems to agree that this move is going to make St Ninian’s Square any safer than it was previously.”

That view is one shared by a local woman who witnessed a near-miss when a car took the corner sharply last weekend, almost ending in a serious accident.

She said: “It was Sunday evening and obviously the people driving weren’t aware of the changes to the road.

“The people involved weren’t seriously hurt, but they could have been. This will cause accidents rather than prevent them and it’s just daft.”

Matthew Neve continued: “Our plan of action is to gather as many signatures as we can from people from throughout Brechin.

“This isn’t just a petition for people who live in the Square or Park Road, this affects all of us.

“At the end of the day, if the council can decide to take a measure like this without consulting anyone, what are we going to end up with next?

“This could rub off on many people in Brechin, especially as we get closer to the tourist season and visitors to Brechin, who aren’t as aware of the changes or the story, come to visit the Caledonian Railway.

“That of course also means a further build up in traffic and less places to park.

“I haven’t seen or heard from a single local councillor.

“They don’t seem to care what’s going on down here. The very least you would have expected from them is to pay us a visit and talk to us.”

Mathew concluded by saying the petition is available to sign in his premises or at the St Ninian’s Square newsagents.