Council Officers Say Spaces for People Measures are Working Well

By Jane Cruickshank / October 25, 2020

AS requested by the members of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee, council officers have prepared a report explaining their use of cones and water barriers in Stonehaven’s town centre.

The measures were introduced in June to give shoppers room to pass with a safe social distance on the pavements. But the ranks of cones caused an outcry with traders saying they were losing business as shoppers couldn’t find parking spaces.

Over 800 locals signed an online petition calling for their removal. This brought the matter before last month’s meeting of the area committee, when councillors instructed a report on the Spaces for People measures.

‘Challenging’ Project for Officers

It would appear speed was of the essence in the implementation of the distancing measures in time for non-essential shops opening on June 29.

The report states: ”This gave around 6 weeks for the planning and
execution of the project. Implementation with cones and barriers was the
only feasible option within this timescale, and even that was extremely
challenging for officers.”

As the measures were in effect a temporary traffic order, there was no requirement for elected members to be consulted.

”A design brief was issued to the local roads teams to come up with
schemes for their designated main town centres tailored to local
circumstances,” the report states.

”These were reviewed by the Roads Standards Group to
ensure consistency in the overall approach and the application of
standards. At this stage, some of the initial proposals were reduced to
concentrate on the core areas of the designated town centres.”

Amended Measures are ‘Working Well’

According to the report, officers have been holding weekly review sessions to monitor the scheme – this, along with representations made led to the removal of some of the sections on Evan St, Barclay St and Allardice St.

The report states: ”Following the previous reviews and the removal of significant sections ofthe measures on 19 and 31 August, it is the view of officers that all the remaining sections are working well and justified in the present situation.”

When the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee meets on Tuesday morning, members are asked to note the content of the report, which is now available online.