Cars to be banned for a day as Perth city centre streets are turned over to promote cycling

© DC Thomson
Like other local authorities, Perth and Kinross Council is working to promote active travel.

Businesses have given a mixed response to news that part of Perth city centre will become a car-free zone next month to accommodate two events promoting cycling.

The Courier can reveal major routes will be closed to traffic from 6am until 8pm on Sunday August 6 to allow Perth on the Go and Pedal for Scotland’s Wee Jaunt Perth to proceed.

Streets affected include the High Street, Mill Street, George Street, King Edward Street, the Watergate, Kirkgate, Kinnoull Street North and part of Tay Street.

Pedal for Scotland Wee Jaunt Perth will run from 8.30am to 11am on a six-mile route through the North Inch and Perth city centre, finishing at Perth Concert Hall.

Perth on the Go is the bigger event and is aimed at encouraging residents to cycle around the city and find out about alternative ways to travel. Scheduled to run from 11am until 6pm, attendees are asked to bring their children, grandparents and even pet dogs for a “day of cycling fun.”

There will be red and green cycle routes with no traffic, allowing residents to cycle safely and as often as they like.

A cafe owner in George Street said the events may bring in extra business.

“We don’t usually open on Sundays but I may do so as the city centre will probably be busy this day,” she said.

However, a restaurant owner in George Street was less enthusiastic.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “There was a cycling event similar to this about a year ago and a cordon was put up in George Street which meant customers had difficulty crossing the road into our shop.

“This proved to be a disaster for us so we won’t be opening on August 6.”

Brian McMurchie, 45, who lives in Perth city centre, said he envisages major traffic problems with so many road closures on the day.

“There is going to be traffic chaos with all these streets closed,” he said.

Perth and Kinross Council is asking companies delivering goods to city centre shops and business on the day to do so before 7am.

The local authority is also appealing for motorists to “be patient” but admits there maybe some traffic problems.

A spokesman said: “The event takes place on a Sunday when roads are traditionally quiet, which will lessen the impact.

“As with any road closure there is likely to be some impact on traffic, so we ask drivers to plan their route ahead, be patient, and follow the diversions in place.

“We hope that we will be able to keep disruption to a minimum.”

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