Published: 11/10/2017 08:55 - Updated: 11/10/2017 09:13

20mph plan launced for Forres town centre

High StreetFORRES Community Council (FCC) is seeking support for a 20mph speed limit for the High Street.

Moray Council traffic engineer, Ken Major, was invited to discuss the possibility at last month’s FCC meeting in the Tolbooth.

He said: “I have no problem with this concept in principle - Forres has an ideal high street for such a limit.

“There would be two ways to do it: have a 20mph zone featuring bumps or other additions to slow traffic; or a limit enforced by signage.

“I will make some enquiries about getting speed surveys done but there would have to be public consultation and workshops before any definite decision was made.”

FCC secretary Eleanor Hayward wants Forres to fall in line with other Scottish towns and villages where the main shopping area is the high street.

“It naturally generates most footfall and passing-through traffic,” she said. “Ours is used by HGVs, coaches, high-sided vehicles, motorbikes and cars. A number of housing developments on the perimeter of Forres have increased traffic flow and there are still two developments on the table at Dallas Dhu and the old Tesco site on Gordon Street.

“Securing a 20mph restriction in the town centre will offer everyone, including shop owners, a much safer place to shop.”

Forres Business Association co-chairman, Jock Gibson, confirmed the matter was discussed at one of their own meetings.

He said: “We feel the idea merits further investigation with a view to having a temporary trial.  “However, it was felt that there would be little support from our membership of any further pedestrianisation of the High Street or any moves that might reduce the scope of on street parking.”

Forres Area Forum believe a speed limit will enhance the High Street shopping experience and make it safer.

Vice chairwoman Sandra Maclennan added: “At present there is a greater volume of traffic through the day caused by work on the bypass. There is also an increase in parking in non-designated places.

“In the evenings, some motorists drive at excess speed which can be a hazard for pedestrians and other drivers.”

Forres Area Community Trust (FACT) is also behind the idea.

FACT project coordinator Samantha Fraser explained that traffic management measures were flagged-up during the Forres 2020 Vision Planning for Real process.

She added: “As a Walkers are Welcome town, encouraging visitors, a reduced speed limit would make the High Street more enjoyable walking space for all.”

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