LISTEN: Karen Allen explains how she imagines her idea could work – Photo Credit: Trevor Littlewood
After a quiet year on the streets of Pitlochry’s town centre, one local resident has come to appreciate walking around ‘freely’ with few cars driving past.
Karen Allen thinks the town centre could do with more of this by possibly trialling the idea of closing some streets to create a calmer atmosphere in the town.
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She points to events such as the New Years Party as a success in closing the road to allow people to enjoy the streets more on foot.
Karen Allen said: “During lockdown I decided I was enjoying walking around a bit more freely in the town centre and I remembered the times before when we’ve had events there, like the New Year’s Party, and it’s been, for me, a good experience to actually have more freedom there.”
At the moment the idea is just a suggestion but Karen Allen is getting in touch with Pitlochry’s local councillors for their input and is hoping to pick up the mood of the town on the idea.
Nothing official has started and the idea is in it’s early days, but Karen Allen suggested Ferry Road and West Moulin Road could be discounted from traffic to allow pedestrians to move freely around the town centre.
She explained: “Well I think the easiest way to do it is to possibly learn form the New Year’s Party and I think we have other things that we do here, for instance, when we have the Highland Night.
“There is experience in Pitlochry in shutting off bits of the high street already. But I would just like to try to take it a little bit further, maybe trail it at weekends and stuff because that’s obviously the busiest times for us when tourists come.
“And I was kind of hoping that we could shut off, say, from Ferry Road up to West Moulin Road and allow people to have freedom there.”
One possible concern could be that vendors in the town could struggle to get access to deliveries and get produce unloaded with restricted streets.
For Karen Allen, it’s a question of balancing pro’s and con’s, such as the benefits which the idea might bring versus the detractions.
She said: “Well I can imagine that it could be problematic, obviously, for some of the businesses but I guess there’s pro’s and con’s to everything.
“You maybe make more effort to get to your business in that short length of time over the weekend, but at the end of the day we have a better time for that weekend.
“I would assume it makes it easier for the businesses to operate for their clients and for us all to enjoy it once it’s actually shut off.”
Right now the idea is just a suggestion which is looking to gain traction, but anyone with any views can get in touch with their local councillor to share their thoughts on the idea.