Parking proposals spark public outcry in Melrose

Buccleuch Street, Melrose.
Buccleuch Street, Melrose.

Proposals to restrict parking in Melrose’s town centre are causing uproar among residents there without any off-street parking of their own.

Scottish Borders Council has put forward plans to introduce no waiting rules and restrict parking to just two hours in both Buccleuch Street and Abbey Place in a bid to improve road safety and increase traffic flow in the town centre.

But more than a dozen residents turned out for Melrose Community Council’s meeting last week to air their objections, accusing the council of failing to balance the needs of residents and shopkeepers.

Christopher Press, of Buccleuch Street, said: “It seems the council is treating Buccleuch Street as if it contains shops and businesses when it is actually almost entirely residential.

“One of the reasons given is flow of traffic and road safety, but it’s going to be worse if you have people toing and froing from parking spaces

“I think what the council calls ‘consolidating existing traffic regulations’ in reality means bureaucratic tidying-up and has no genuine purpose.”

Mr Press’s wife Ann added: “It is not balanced with the perceived requirements of shops and businesses.

“They want people to keep moving, but we, as residents, don’t want to keep moving.

“I would quite simply ask each and every one of you if you would like to move your car like clockwork every two hours.”

Fellow Buccleuch Street resident Isobel Slorance, asked: “What about people with mobility problems? I would have to walk quite a distance. I would have to park at either end of the town just to get to my house.”

The order, if introduced, would limit waiting and parking on a length of Weirhill Place, introduce no waiting in lengths of Abbey Street Buccleuch Street and Chiefswood Road, meaning that waiting would be limited to two hours between 9am and 5pm with no return within an hour.

Leaderdale and Melrose councillor David Parker said: “It’s very much being driven by the high turnover of traffic. We are certainly very aware of what people are thinking about it.

“There is a significant weight of objection, there’s no doubt about that.”

He added: “Once we have had an opportunity to look at that, we will make a decision.

“Nothing will happen without further consultation with residents.”

Consultation on the proposals ends this Thursday, May 24.