As an established trader in the town, I am delighted to see that Historic Kelso has attracted funding to enable the town to be upgraded and restored, and thereby attract more tourists and new business.
However, it seems that the one-way system is having the opposite effect. The Square is now almost impossible to cross for pedestrians and it appears that now the one-way system is here to stay, no one has considered the following elements and issues:
a) The traffic flow is now much faster, resulting in pedestrians (particularly the elderly, disabled and those with small children and prams) having great difficulty crossing. The speed limit for the town centre should be reduced to 20mph, and proper raised crossing points installed to ensure the safety of all.
b) Some businesses in Horsemarket and Woodmarket (already suffering with the arrival of Sainsbury’s and/or the current economic climate) are not seen by passing motorists who therefore do not stop and shop.
c) The build-up of traffic in Woodmarket due to buses stopping is causing chaos in The Square, with traffic from Bridge Street and Horsemarket waiting to turn. Tailbacks at certain times of the day can be seen over the old bridge. This, in turn, means that traffic from the Rennie Court area is unable to turn right on to Bridge Street. This will get much worse when work begins on the toilet block situated at the bus stop.
d) The redundant bus shelter situated outside the Royal Bank and Bank of Scotland has now become a very expensive smoking shelter. This should be relocated immediately to the bus stop in Woodmarket to ensure its original use, even if it is only until the new shelters are constructed. At the moment we have a shelter not on a bus route and a bus stop 50 metres away with no shelter.
A rethink and action is required now, not after the first serious accident.
(Independent candidate for Kelso District)