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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Please check claims of legitimate parking

I REFER to your item in the E&L Advertiser of December 13, ‘Police cannot intervene’ which concerns vehicles parked on the pavement between the chemist and Pelosi’s.

I would be very interested to know exactly how Mrs Sanderson ‘checked the position’ and was able to ‘confirm to members that the bays were legitimate parking areas’ because the extensive correspondence I have had with Transport Scotland, the police and Dumfries and Galloway council suggests otherwise. Any claim that this is legitimate parking is dubious.

As far back as January 2012, Transport Scotland advised me: “The two slabbed parking spaces were used by people directly concerned with operations within the Border Fine Arts Art Gallery and the Langholm Initiative, the latter body apparently operating in the same or close-by premises. Transport Scotland is responsible for the main carriageway circulation area up to the kerb fronting this area but not for the slabbed area itself.”

Transport Scotland has given further confirmation this week that the pavement does not come under its jurisdiction. This area of pavement is the responsibility of the council so Mrs Sanderson is mistaken to suggest that the issue will be dealt with under the BEAR Scotland/TS High Street consultation.

Meanwhile, the council told me in March 2012: “The reasons why two parking spaces were provided at this location do not now appear to be apparent. Further investigation would be required.”

Even after a recent near miss and an accident which could easily have became a fatality, the council has still done nothing.

I am trying to get across to community council members and whoever might be interested in the High Street regeneration that the theft of public space to cram car parking into every square inch is less valuable than place-making, the creation of pedestrian space attractive to visitors and tourists within our historic townscape. With careful revision of traffic circulation in and out of Parliament Square a significant area of the Market Place can be pedestrianised and give us much-needed outdoor community space.

I have cited as an example how the area beside the Hawick Horse could easily have been made into more car parking but instead a little bit of vision has made this a very attractive place.

Bill Telfer

Caroline Street

Langholm

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