Perth residents and shopkeepers have questioned the merits of a raft of new restrictions planned for the city centre in the wake of the coronavirus.
Council bosses are introducing a £1.1 million plan to make urban areas safer for pedestrians and cyclists, including extra signs, widened pavements and new road markings
The measures were fast tracked under delegated powers during lockdown with little consultation with affected business and property owners.
Residents and shopkeepers are now demanding more information on the changes so they can adapt their businesses.
Lori McGaffney, Perthshire Chamber of Commerce director and owner of the Eva Lucia boutique on the High Street, said the views of traders had to be taken into account.
“It is important local businesses are aware in advance of any plans to reconfigure parts of the city centre so they can provide input and help deliver a safe shopping experience with the least disruption for customers,” she said.
One of the measures has been the introduction of one-way footpaths on narrow streets, including Perth Bridge.
A plamn to restrict access on certain streets including Balhousie Street and Hay Street has sparked a petition in protest.
Robert Tomlin, who started the campaign, said: “Perth and Kinross Council have announced that they will be restricting access to Balhousie Street and Hay Street.
“This means it can no longer be used as a through road which will add journey time, extra frustration and more pollution to travel.
“Perth and Kinross Council say there was a consultation but many people were not aware of it.
“There has hardly been an inclusive representation of those most affected by this.”
The council said it would continue to work with businesses as the initiative is put in place.
A council spokesperson said all of the measures in Perth city centre, and in towns across elsewhere, were intended to make it safer for pedestrians to visit them and the businesses operating there.
“Perth & Kinross Council received £1.1 million from Sustrans’ Spaces for People fund to introduce measures to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists and these plans were published in May,” said the spokesperson.
“We have also published guidance for firms on how to operate safely and can provide advice on local marketing and social media channels that are being supported by the council to help businesses promote themselves to customers and visitors.
“We will continue to engage with businesses to gauge how these measures are working.”
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