It’s business as usual as Village work concludes
IT’S BACK to business as usual in the Village following the completion of a five month improvement project.
Shopkeepers have had to cope with disruptions since January as work was carried out to replace the cobbles in Hunter Street and Montgomery Street.
But now the area is back to normal and local traders will be hoping the £265,000 upgrade will attract more customers over the summer months and beyond.
Stephen Sheriff, of Wright butchers, was eager to let people know the Village’s main thoroughfare was back in business.
But although he believes the cobbles project was well worthwhile, he is critical of the current parking arrangements which he fears could put off potential customers.
And he is also keen to see the Village host more events, like the forthcoming Artburst Festival, throughout the year.
He said: “I am delighted with the streetscape improvements and it’s great to have the street open again. Since the work started early in January, it has had a major impact on turnover for every business in the Village so I want everyone to be aware that it’s business as usual.
“However, there is still an anomaly in the Village as far as parking is concerned. There is 30 minute off-street waiting times in every part of the Village apart from Hunter Street and Montgomery Street, which is just nonsense.
“We have these lovely parking bays right outside the shops but no one is allowed to use them. If people come to the Village and get a £30 ticket there is a danger they won’t come back so it’s something that South Lanarkshire Council needs to look at.
“I was pleased to see that East Mains Community Council have highlighted the need to maintain a strong retail presence in the Village. I think it’s important that there is investment in the day-time facilities as well as the night-time. We have the Artburst festival in the summer and I would support a Christmas market but would also like to see more seasonal events in the autumn and spring as well to help make the Village the thriving and vibrant place it should be.”
An SLC spokesman said: “We are delighted to have successfully completed the work in Hunter Street and Montgomery Street in East Kilbride Village.
“The old setts have been removed, the underlying formation strengthened and new larger granite setts laid in the carriageways and loading bays, with smaller setts being used to define the drainage channels.
“This completes the upgrading of these streets in the village, the footways having been subject to substantial works last year.
“South Lanarkshire Council would like to take this opportunity to thank the businesses and public for their patience while these works were being carried out.
“We believe the quality of the final surfacing makes it a worthwhile enhancement to the Village as a shopping area and for future outdoor events planned for the Village.”
In relation to Mr Sheriff’s concerns about parking arrangements, the spokesman added: “There have previously been problems with people parking all day in Hunter Street and Montgomery Street. That’s why we erected a sign highlighting the fact that these streets are pedestrian zones and that enforcement action will be taken for vehicles not obeying the restrictions.
“There have been waiting restrictions in place since 1998. Loading and unloading of goods can take place from the lay-bys on the south side of Hunter Street and the west side of Montgomery Street at any time.
“Vehicles displaying a disabled persons badge can also park in the lay-bys.
“No waiting, loading or unloading is permitted on the north side of Hunter Street or the east side of Montgomery Street.
“Consultation was undertaken with the Village Business Association, Strathclyde Police and the Scottish Executive priorto the pedestrian zone signs beingerected.”