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Dundee traders welcome city pedestrian zone as extension confirmed

Tyler Fisher, 6, doesn't let the storm dampen his spirits on Union Street.
Tyler Fisher, 6, doesn't let the storm dampen his spirits on Union Street.

Dundee’s Union Street will remain closed to vehicles until at least the end of January, council leaders have confirmed.

The city centre street was closed to through traffic in July as part of the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People programme to create extra room to follow physical distancing guidelines and help to avoid a second peak of the virus.

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design graduate Callum Laird later co-ordinated the painting of a colourful zebra crossing-style mural on the road while workers installed wooden planters to encourage outdoor dining.

A total of 84% of traders have said the changes have been positive for the street, with 62% saying it has been good for their business, according to a Dundee City Council survey.

The mural on Union Street, Dundee.

The Union Street retailers also reported 68% of their customers saying they were more positive about the area, according to the survey.

Mark Flynn, convener of the council’s city development committee, said: “The traffic ban in Union Street has been well received by businesses who, despite some people’s initial scepticism, are seeing the benefits and reporting increased interest in the area.

“Keeping vehicles off the street was a way of doing something different to try to open it up to locals and visitors so that they had more time and space to use the shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes.

“It has gone down so well that the street will remain closed to through traffic until the end of January, but we will continue monitoring the change carefully and engaging with businesses over the coming months.”

The Scottish Government’s Spaces for People Fund awarded Dundee City Council £460,000 in May, which as well as being spent on the temporary pedestrianisation of Union Street covers work to introduce 20mph zones and through traffic reduction on various routes.

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