Rothesay shop manager hits out at street closure plan

Cancer Research UK's Rothesay shop in the town's Montague Street.

Cancer Research UK's Rothesay shop in the town's Montague Street.

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The manager of a charity shop in the centre of Rothesay has hit out at a proposal to close the town’s main shopping street to vehicular traffic.

Anna Harrison, who manages the Cancer Research UK shop in Montague Street, says any closure would have an unacceptable effect on her shop.

The local Towards Zero Carbon Bute project, set up to cut the island’s carbon footprint, is proposing the temporary closure of Montague Street as a trial over a short period, with the Easter holiday weekend suggested as a suitable time.

The TZCB proposal - one of several aimed at reducing car use on Bute - is out for consultation until March 11, but Mrs Harrison, in a letter published in the new issue of The Buteman, says she fears it could lead to something much more permanent.

“For a charity shop,” Mrs Harrison writes, “the door must always be open to receive donations.

“We cannot expect donors to carry their worldly possessions from the Co-op car park or even further afield if that has filled up with excess vehicles from Montague Street, and we cannot expect donors to fit in with a delivery restriction timetable.

“I am not against an odd weekend here and there to celebrate occasions where the street’s businesses, both local and national, could work together to make a special shopping experience - I would be the first one to say that would be an incredible step forwards - but this trial is leading somewhere, and I fear it is for something much more permanent.”

* You can read Mrs Harrison’s letter in full in the March 8 edition of The Buteman - on sale now.