Bring back old High Street, says councillor

LOCAL councillor Terry Wood has renewed his call for the High Street in Montrose to be restored to its original state.

Mr Wood said this week that residents have never been satisfied with the lay-out of the High Street since it was redesigned several years ago.

"It is high time the High Street is put back to its original condition in terms of lay-out and traffic flow. It served us for centuries and was first class."

Mr Wood's comments came after receiving a letter from the director of roads who indicated that the request for a lay-by outside the Old and St Andrew's Church on the High Street would not be considered until March by the council.

A number of local people have been campaigning for the provision of a lay-by to accommodate vehicles during weddings and funerals for several years. At last week's meeting of the community council police said that several requests had been made to them to park vehicles on the slabbed area in front of the church.

Mr Wood said that his letter from the director of roads said that projects such as the construction of Montrose Bridge and the dual carriageway between Arbroath and Dundee had taken priority over the issue.

Mr Wood says that the request for the lay-by outside the church was made long before these projects were started.

"This has been going on for five years now and the lay-by is urgently required. I have contacted the director of roads a number of times about this and of course it came out on top of the agenda from a survey on the state of the High Street around town. Everyone wanted to see a lay-by installed outside the church. I am extremely disappointed about the long protracted delays."

He added: "I am nearly three years into my term as a councillor and nothing has been done to improve the High Street. Hume Street and George Street are both dangerous and I have received a constant stream of complaints from constituents about the general condition of the buildings and footpaths. I immediately reported to the roads department when someone fell out of their wheelchair because of the condition of the footpath on the High Street but nothing has been done."

Montrose Community Council also expressed their frustration at last week's meeting where the issue of the roads department's 460,000 underspend was raised again.

"Some money could have been immediately allocated for the provision of a lay-by. I am going to ask the chief executive about apportioning some to Montrose, " said Mr Wood.

"All I am trying to do is to get the beautiful, aesthetic High Street back to its original state and it is proving a very difficult task."

The three independent councillors will meet with Angus Council's chief executive next week in an attempt to bring the lay-by issue forward.

Chairwoman of the community council Joan Stott said that she hoped the issue would be dealt with as soon as possible.

"We hope that the issue is looked at and as soon after March as possible we get the lay-by. I am sure we will get it though."