Debate heats up at ‘Montague St parking’ meeting

There was a heated debate at the drop-in meeting in Victoria Hotel this afternoon regarding the subject of a proposed closure of Montague Street to traffic.

Local shop owners met with Reeni Kennedy-Boyle, project manager for Towards Zero Carbon Bute, and Peter Leslie, TZCB’s transport consultant, to discuss the possibility of closing Montague Street to traffic on a trial basis - and the shop owners were not impressed.

Colin Brooks, owner of the Electric Bakery in Montague Street, said: “I could lose three members of staff if the street were to close. It’s all well and good having a nice walk along a traffic-free Montague Street, but not if the view is of vacant shops.”

Reeni explained that at this stage, nothing has been determined. The purpose of the consultation is to find out whether the trial would be achievable, and the way in which that will be determined is by evaluating the responses TZCB receives.

One suggestion, which many of the shop-owners present at the meeting believed might be an acceptable alternative would be for Montague Street to offer time-limited parking spaces only, thereby limiting the length of time vehicles can utilise a space outside their shop.