Buffer zone could protect Lanark's Oxfam shop

Traffic proposal would see the town lose this historic building, currently home to the Oxfam shop.Traffic proposal would see the town lose this historic building, currently home to the Oxfam shop.
Traffic proposal would see the town lose this historic building, currently home to the Oxfam shop.
People in Lanark are currently being asked to share their opinions on a potential traffic solution for the town.

However, former councillor and local historian Ed Archer has raised an issue which might become a fly in the ointment.

Seven options were considered by the council before officers opted for option one – known as the Upper High Street Gyratory.

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It would see St Leonard Street become a two lane, one-way street eastbound to increase capacity at the High Street/Bannatyne Street/St Leonard Street junction, taking away the westbound flow.

A new two lane, one-way link road would be formed between St Leonard Street and Woodstock Road.

Woodstock Road, between the new link road and Bannatyne Street, would be one-way southbound and Bannatyne Street would become a two lane, one-way street westbound between Woodstock Road and St Leonard Street.

This option, however, would require the removal of the building at No.1-3 Bannatyne Street, currently occupied by Oxfam. And that’s where Ed believes the council is on a hiding to nothing.

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He explained: “I was assisting the community council at an exhibition of the traffic management consultation exercise in Lanark Tolbooth on Saturday.

"On the walls were seven different options, with a consultation sheet for the public to fill in. Reading this I was dismayed to find there was only one preferred option, which rather negates the purpose of the whole consultation exercise.

"It doesn’t put the council in a very good light and it might lead the public to think that the whole consultation exercise is just a sham.

“Although I basically agree with the option chosen, and the link road from St Leonard Street to Woodstock, I don’t agree with the demolition of the building housing the Oxfam shop.

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"It is entirely unnecessary and if executed will cost a lot of money which could be better invested in improving the roads and pavements.

“The possibility of demolishing the Oxfam property went to Public Inquiry a number of years ago.

"The shop also gathered a petition which attracted thousands of signatures.

"At that time, the Reporter stated the building should not be demolished for a variety of reasons – including the fact that it’s in the New Lanark World Heritage buffer zone.

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"It seems South Lanarkshire Council is trying to push forward with a plan which has already been rejected.”

Lanark Community Council helped facilitate the Tolbooth exhibition.

Founding member Leonard Gray said: “It would have been more helpful had the council sent along an officer to explain the options.

"As a community council, we felt it would be difficult to come to a conclusion when so many options were presented. It would be more beneficial to stage a public meeting, giving people a better understanding of what is proposed.”

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South Lanarkshire Council hopes to progress with the Upper High Street Gyratory plan; however, the project is dependent on funding.

The proposals and a link to the survey are available at www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/KeepLanarkMoving. The consultation is open until this Friday.

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