High Street traffic plans get the go-ahead

Plans to re-open Paisley’s High Street to evening traffic have been given the green light by councillors.

Cars and taxis will soon be able to enter the currently-pedestrianised street between 4pm and 10.30am in a bid to inject new life into the town’s night-time economy.

A traffic order already exists allowing access to service vehicles via Moss Street, County Place and Gilmour Street between these times.

Council officials will now begin a statutory consultation process to amend this order, meaning cars could be on the High Street via this route by the summer.

Members of the council’s Planning and Property Policy Board also agreed to look into a second phase of the scheme – involving changes to the road layout to allow traffic to enter the High Street from Gauze Street and St Mirren Brae.

It is expected that phase two could be implemented sometime next year.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Over the years, the pedestrianisation of the High Street has been subject to much discussion, and we have listened to that debate.

“These proposals have received broad support from the local business community.

“We are not suggesting that this will solve every issue connected with the High Street – this is an attempt to try something different and see how it works.

“We hope that by opening the High Street up, it will boost the town’s night-time economy by giving cars and taxis easier access to pubs and restaurants and other entertainment venues.

“Our research suggests the experience of other towns which allow access to evening traffic is that the town centre becomes more attractive to investors and more visible to people who may not normally travel through it.

“Ideally, this will give us the best of both worlds – a pedestrianised area dedicated to shoppers during the day which opens up to become a thoroughfare connecting different sides of the town centre in the evenings.”

Paisley High Street was pedestrianised in 1997 as part of a series of changes to the road system in the town.