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Council agrees parking improvements to boost town centre

 24 March 2015  |  

Parking in Ayr town centre is set to get a whole lot easier thanks to South Ayrshire Council.

The Council is investing £150,000 to reopen vehicle access to River Street from Main Street – which will improve access to local parking close to the High Street – and develop a new parking signage strategy to provide better and much more visible parking information within the town centre.

Following consideration of detailed traffic modelling, the Council has also instructed further work and costings on two key options that could possibly provide better vehicle access to Ayr High Street.

The additional work will help the Council better understand the impact on traffic volumes, journey times and costs to implement each of the options:

  • Unrestricted vehicle access to High Street, with the right turn to New Bridge street retained for buses only.
  • Creation of a short two-way section of High Street at the junction with New Bridge Street/Sandgate to permit access to a possible new parking facility, with the right turn to New Bridge Street retained for buses only.

The Council also considered other options, including opening the High Street up to two-way traffic and full pedestrianisation of the High Street. These were ruled out following detailed traffic modelling and consultation.

Councillor John McDowall, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and the Environment, said: "It's vital our roads network works for our residents and visitors and it's clear there's a desire for better access to Ayr High Street. However, we have to consider this in a sensible way and the more detailed studies of the two options being taken forward will give us a much better understanding of what this would actually mean in practice.

"There's absolutely no point in putting measures in place that disrupt traffic flow and journey times and will have a very real detriment on our people and our businesses, such as the removal of bus priority measures that increase journey times by quarter of an hour.

"The traffic modelling has been a fascinating and comprehensive exercise that will ensure we make decisions that are informed and proportionate and help achieve better movement of traffic throughout the town centre.

"Combined with the improved signage for parking, which will help ensure better use of the available parking provision, and better information to help direct people around the town, this will make Ayr town centre a much more welcoming place that works for residents, workers, visitors and businesses whether travelling by car, public transport or on foot.

"This will benefit everyone who has an interest in the town and I look forward to seeing plans move forward."

The Leadership Panel report on the traffic modelling is available here.

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