There has been a mixed response from businesses to plans aimed at making Dundee safer for shoppers and cyclists.
Dundee City Council has confirmed work is now under way to promote healthier means of travel and exercise as part of their Spaces For People Project.
The local authority has now secured £2 million worth of funding for the second phase of their plans, which could include pop-up cycle lanes on commuter routes among a raft of changes.
Sustrans is distributing the funding on behalf of the Scottish Government, and is now working with the council to turn these proposals into a reality.
Around £500,000 is being earmarked to help improve safer shopping experience across the districts, including Lochee, Stobswell and the Hilltown during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ideas which have already been touted could include the removal of parking spaces from shopping areas, the widening of pavements and the introduction of more on-road seating areas.
The council will consult with businesses on the proposals with a view to shaping the changes that are ultimately made to the shopping precincts.
Questions over impact on trade
But businesses in the Hilltown and Stobswell have raised questions over the impact on trade if people were prevented from parking nearby.
Sean Fraser, of Balloons Made For You on Albert Street, said some of the ideas being suggested currently may work in certain parts of the city but not necessarily in Stobswell.
He added: “We’ve been here for a number of years now. I was aware there were discussions about more pedestrianisation of the area.
“Certainly the likes of the city centre that works but I think here, for our business certainly, it would be detrimental to remove parking spaces.
“The idea of more on-road seating areas is a nice idea but I think that would work more again in the city centre.
“From our perspective the main thing we want to see here is the other shops occupied by businesses. Some units have closed recently and others have been vacant for months.
“That would be the focus for me in improving the situation in Stobswell from a retailer’s points-of-view.”
David Tarbett, who owns LNA’s Curios, Collectables and Prop Hire in the Hilltown, had similar views on the parking proposals.
He said: “Around where we are situated we only have 45 minutes duration parking spaces.
“Realistically the retailers here are screaming out for more spaces or at least increase the volume of time you can stay here.
“I am not sure about the widening of the pavements as such. Generally the pavement surface could be widely improved, I’ve seen people tripping up given the quality of the paths at the moment.
“The idea of seating areas within parking spaces is a good idea but I think it’s only viable when there is a café to give people a reason to sit.”
Mark Flynn, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee welcomed the progress.
He said: “It takes safe active travel for pedestrians, wheelers and cyclists during the Covid-19 period out to more areas across the city and broadens the scope of measures already in place.
“These four new projects provide greater encouragement for people to use cleaner, greener and healthier ways of getting to and from their destination, not just in the current period but also as we move into the future.”