Councillor slams illegal parking in Galashiels

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Illegal parking which is damaging pavements in the heart of Galashiels town centre has been slammed by a town councillor.

Harry Scott is demanding action from Scottish Borders Council to install bollards or street furniture to prevent parking on pavements at Douglas Bridge, at its junction with Channel Street.

He finds the situation particularly galling as vehicles have access to separate service areas – created to prevent such parking issues.

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Mr Scott’s pleas have so far encountered deaf ears, with counter-concerns raised over blocking off access for emergency vehicles.

Douglas Bridge in Galashiels.Douglas Bridge in Galashiels.
Douglas Bridge in Galashiels.

He said: “The pavement in Douglas Bridge was repaired at the cost of thousands and if you go down there every day you will see vans parked in the entrance to Douglas Bridge or parked on the pavement outside Nationwide, or parked on the pavement outside Douglas Bridge House.

“That is a footway and one of the reasons given for no action being taken is that it’s a loading bay for the shops in the Douglas Bridge area. That’s not something I can’t accept.

“There is no excuse for that because all these shops in Douglas Bridge, the Nationwide Building Society and the chemist there, they all have access to the service areas which can be accessed from Park Street on the chemist side or on the Nationwide side they are accessed on Market Street.

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“The whole purpose of these areas was to enable delivery to these premises so that folk didn’t have to park on the pavement or on double-yellow lines.

“Legalities have also been quoted to me saying it needs an order, but to me that is a footway and it doesn’t need an order, and as for access for emergency vehicles, yes, I appreciate that, but a couple of well-placed litter bins in that gap would prevent cars from driving on the footway and causing the damage presently being caused.”

Mr Scott has asked Councillor Gordon Edgar, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for infrastructure, travel and transport, to explore options for a solution with council officers.

He added: “If they don’t do anything I’d like the chief executive to intervene because I don’t think it’s acceptable.”

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Meanwhile, Mr Scott has welcomed an order which will soon be in place to prohibit traffic from entering, driving or waiting in the town’s Channel Street, in the vicinity of the Great Tapestry building.