Row as council closes roads to cars on day shops reopen

Stirling Council has been criticised over its decision to close parking bays.

Stirling Council has been criticised for closing roads to traffic on the first day non-essential shops were allowed to reopen.

Vehicles have been banned from some roads so social-distancing measures can be applied and priority given to pedestrians for walking and cycling.

The council said the measures were put in place to support the re-opening of businesses on Monday as the coronavirus lockdown was eased.

But some traders said customers had been prevented from visiting shops.

Bridge of Allan Hardware Store wrote on Facebook: “What should be an exciting morning here for the businesses of Bridge of Allan has taken a negative turn.

“Stirling Council have blocked off all parking on Henderson Street and Fountain Road.

“Apparently this is ‘supporting businesses’. Many of us will not be able to accept deliveries easily or help our customers load up shopping in their cars.

“We are most disappointed about the fact that our disabled parking bay has been cut off too.”

Another social media user wrote: “A friend has had her business closed for 100+ days in Bridge of Allan, set up to open today with social-distancing measures in place and overnight Stirling Council close all parking bays in and around the shops that desperately need business.”

However, not everyone in Stirling was against the parking ban.

Local resident Kate Fuller said: “I’m sorry that this may cause challenges for the businesses operating, but I’m looking forward to having more space as a pedestrian in the village.

“We’re lucky to have great shops in the village, hopefully drivers can park a little further away and walk in.”

The council said the measures were “temporary” to ensure coronavirus restrictions could be followed.

Jim Thomson, convener for environment and housing at Stirling Council, said: “Entering phase two of the lockdown routemap has brought welcome relief to traders across Stirling, who can now open their doors to the public after an incredibly difficult period.

“However, social-distancing rules and travel guidelines still exist and, while we anticipate residents will be eager to get back on the streets and support local businesses, it’s important they can do so safely.

“To make this possible, temporary measures will be implemented to allow safe pedestrian access and queuing systems by prohibiting vehicle access.

“We know this will mean changes for traders getting deliveries, access for taxis and disabled parking, so we have been in dialogue with the Stirling BID to canvas their views and make them aware of the changes.”

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