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Lerwick town centre


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#21 mogling

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 11:30 PM

There are only 4 Disabled Parking spaces on The Street:

2 spaces outside the Royal Bank at one end, and 2 spaces opposite the Fort Chip shop at the far end.

 

People are only issued with a Blue Badge if they are unable to walk very far at all for whatever reason, or if they have to use a wheelchair, so if you need to go to the Bank of Scotland, or want to go to Conochies, you don't have any option but to drive along the street.

 

I and a lot of other disabled drivers used to try and avoid driving on the street where possible, and if you needed to go to Boots or a premises near there, you went up the bit at the Clydesdale Bank {Burns Walk?} Since that got bollarded off, all Blue Badge holders have no option now but to drive along the full length of the street, including the perilous 'Swanson's Bottleneck', just to get to Boots.

 

Vehicle access is restricted to Blue Badge holders only between 11.30 and 6.00 from the Cross, but a lot of other drivers ignore that, thinking they can go in and park outside the Bank of Scotland - but we've no Traffic Warden to prevent that now.

 

Because the street and an awful lot of the premises in Lerwick are inaccessible and awkward for wheelchairs, I hate to admit that I rarely go there now and just shop and do banking online. I do understand a lot is to do with the geography/topography and some of the premises simply cannot be made accessible. But it is so much less hassle staying at home.



#22 Scorrie

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 08:45 AM

Odd, really, as I was on the street in Lerwick yesterday and it was fairly buzzing.

 

The nice weather had brought fowk out, cars were trundling slowly past and giving way to pedestrians, natives and tourists were mooching about quite happily, the shops looked good with flowers all about, no-one was somersaulting over the alleged canyons in between the paving slabs and all looked well with the world.

 

Take a trip to some of the hell-hole town centres in the rest of the UK and you might actually see just how well off we really are compared to many towns.



#23 Dunna ken

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 10:59 AM

So when did things change, regarding vehicles on the street? 

 

Only a couple of years ago I remember a bit of a hoo-haa when the council introduced pedestrianisation which meant delivery vehicles were only allowed on the street before 11am and after 6pm, and only emergency services & disabled drivers being allowed on there during those times.

Has that changed?  I have to say I've never encountered many vehicles, if any, when I'm "in ower" on a Saturday.



#24 shetlander

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 02:25 PM

I suspect Fraser that if more spaces were made available on the street, you'd get even more folk driving through looking for them, adding to the problem that already exists. I get your point about being able to 'nip in' to wherever but I can bet that plenty of drivers spend more time dawdling along the street desperate to find a space there than the time it would take them to park a bit further away and walk. 

 

In my early minding of going to Lerwick (30 odd year ago) there was no upper swimming pool car park, no Market Green and no pier. There'd be, what, at least 150 odd spaces between them? None of them are too far from the street for any able body to walk from and in the years I've been driving, I've never had any problem parking in Lerwick. What has changed in 30 years is that the ability to park practically at the door of Tesco, the Co-Op or the Toll Clock seems to have bred an expectation among some drivers that they should be able to do the same everywhere else. 

 

I don’t consider myself to be a 'smart ass' but after livin’ awa’ where folk think a lot less about having to walk to get from A to B (probably having had to pay for the privilege of parking at A in the first place), the 'aet' that some Shetland drivers are in to get parked right at the door of wherever they're trying to get to never ceases to amuse me. 


Edited by shetlander, 29 July 2015 - 02:34 PM.

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#25 Fraser Cluness

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 07:51 PM

I don't think they need more parking I think they need to get the cars that park in the short stay spaces all day every day not to do that. That would be a start. We have to remember although we didn't have all that car parks in times past, we didn't have as many cars to park in the first place. We also need to remember the car culture has changed us all. When I come to the street if I don't find a free parking space either under the fort or near the Clydesdale bank, then last chance under Andersons windows I just don't shop at all on the street and I know lots of other people the same.
Thus the street venders need to sort the miss-use of parking spaces, and I would be bold and say its the banks and shop staff hogging all this spaces and stopping their customers getting near the short time parking to 'nip to the street'!

 

I have no problem at all having blue badge cars on the street as they can go anywhere. I did suggest to living Lerwick  that they could have 3 zone times on the street, say 9 - 11 anyone and everyone, this is for pick up and drop of only to shops homes  and offices. 11- say 3 then blue badge only, then 3 - 5 then no cars at all regardless. This is a (after school) time perhaps parents can go to the street with buggies etc and know that they will be no traffic at all thus completely safe.  It was only a suggestion but one that makes the street access work for everyone. as a blue badge car can be a hazard just as much as a non blue badge to everyone in the area. The 3-5 time will also be good for disabled people who cant get out of the way of a car so easy, but can 'do' the street.  one thing  for sure they are dead towns that have died after blocking out the cars and tons of stories on the internet of the cars being let in again to bring the town alive again.  As I said before we live in a car culture now its nothing like it was in the past so there's no point harping on about it, that times have gone.


Edited by Fraser Cluness, 01 August 2015 - 07:54 PM.


#26 Fraser Cluness

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 07:57 PM

just out of interest have they every actually been anyone ever hurt on the street by a any car, van etc



#27 Colin

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 09:49 PM

I have been aware of a couple of 'minor' incidents down the years but, honestly, I think that there have been more serious injuries cause by drunks than motor vehicles but, notwithstanding that, the street is just not a suitable place for motor vehicles AND pedestrians.  If a suitable alternative cannot be found to the inherent laziness of most motorists then, the street is "dead".

 

I don't buy the convenience/inconvenience argument simply because what is "convenient" for one group of users (motorists) is inconvenient for the other (pedestrians).

 

In evolutionary terms, most motorists are "retards" who have forgotton how to use their legs and expect to be able to drive up to any door they see fit too.  I suppose that "education" is probably the answer but, in the short term, enforcement of any legislation might help as well.


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#28 Fraser Cluness

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 06:36 PM

what legislation may do if p everyone off and they will go elsewhere, as I said in a previous post, there is nothing on the street we as customers cant get elsewhere, thus no one actually really needs to go near the street at all. so make it harder for us lazy folk then no one will actually need the shops there and no matter how many pot plants they put there it will make no odds.  we need to learn from streets south that have cut the cars and have since died. 



#29 Colin

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 09:18 PM

You obviously believe that the needs of the "mighty motorist" overwhelm the need for common sense and, presumably, you would want to park right outside the door of the Post Office, Camera Shop, Conachies et al. if it suited you.  Would you drive door to door as well? 

The street will not die for the lack of a few motorists because motorists are not (in the main) "footfall".  If it does die then, it will die for other reasons.

 

You would do well to remember that quite a lot of the city centres on the mainland have pavements that are wider than parts of Commercial Street and the "anti parking" legislation was used, mainly, as a fund raiser for cash strapped local authorities.  Public pressure from shop keepers and others over the "extortion" was what got most of the restrictions removed.

 

There is plenty of parking available to those willing to spend a few minutes walking so, there is no point "spitting the dummy" because you may not be allowed to drive to within a few feet of your destination.


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#30 Scorrie

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 08:53 AM

what legislation may do if p everyone off and they will go elsewhere, as I said in a previous post, there is nothing on the street we as customers cant get elsewhere, thus no one actually really needs to go near the street at all. so make it harder for us lazy folk then no one will actually need the shops there and no matter how many pot plants they put there it will make no odds.  we need to learn from streets south that have cut the cars and have since died. 

 

 

What's killed off town centres in the rest of the UK is the buying power and centralisation into large stores of the large national companies and the customers mantra that cheap is best. Private retailers struggle to cope with dealing with the nationals retail prices less than they can even buy in at.  Taking on Tescos head on is never going to work.

 

You're right about about "making it harder for us lazy folk", damn right too.

The town centre certainly doens't need lazy, whinging and selfish car drivers who think they have the God-given right to clog everywhere up and become a danger to the rest of us.

If you let the Street become a free for all, all that will happen is that all you lazy folk will jam up the street with your effin' cars to get to the bank/leccy shop/post office and then drive straight out to Tesco wailing about the price of goods on the street being too high and that there's nowhere to park so you can shop there (even though I've never, ever had a problem parking within 200 meters of the street).

 

Have a nice day.


Edited by Scorrie, 03 August 2015 - 08:54 AM.

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#31 Fraser Cluness

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 06:27 PM

i have no desire to take my car on the street from the cross to the fort chip shop, and never really have done,  unless you have a blue badge neither should anyone else just now. i just made suggestions of zone times for diffrent possabilitys for other folk, some car times and some car free times too. Having dam right legislation is one way to kill the street, like nearly every other street up and down the country, so when its got no shops but charity shops in it i hope your all happy with the dead street then.   we have to think out of the box not make the box smaller. I would like on the odd ocation be able to get a short term parking space from one of the cars that park on them all day everyday for that rare occation i, and many other folk, might want to nip to the street, thats all.  I'd  also like to say again, its not about being lazy really its about the amount of time people have.


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#32 Colin

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 10:01 PM

Zone times will be ignored (just like the current 'rules') UNLESS you have someone willing/able to enforce them and, I'm not really sure which box(?) you are thinking out of but, I suspect it is the 'motorist box'.

 

The lack of short term parking is caused, as you quite rightly state, by long term parkers who are only able to do so because there is no one employed to apply the 'rules'.

 

None of this has any impact on pedestrians who, in the main, seem better able to organise their lives and do not seem to be in such a rush that they can only afford a few minutes to 'nip to the street'.

Pedestrians also seem better able to negotiate the tables and seating that seem to appear outside one place in particular on a fine day and, the free wi-fi seems to attract a little extra trade from tourists.  Would you also have those removed in order to speed your passage?

 

I would, respectfully, suggest that if it is really "about the amount of time people have" then, "people" should really get themselves a little better organised and not try to do everything at 100mph....

 

The argument here appears to be about the 'rights' of motorists over the rest and your continued assertion that banning vehicles witll "kill" the street is, imho, nonsense simply because vehicles have never been "welcome" on the street in the first place and, generally, contribute nothing to the income of the various shops because, quite simply, they are "just passing through".

Walking the length of the street takes me a leisurely 2-3 minutes.  Driving along the street, if you are behind me, will take you exactly the same amount of time.  The difference is that I can easily nip in and out of shops as required whilst, drivers cannot..


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#33 Wheelsup

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 10:15 AM

If your in your car its far quicker to nip to the Shops in Scalloway, Sandwick or Whiteness. they are just 5 to 10 minutes away. Big fines for parking on Da Street are what's needed.


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#34 Capeesh

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 08:34 AM

The parking available in our town centre is better than most of the towns I've visited.
It must be hard for our small independent retailers to compete with large internet retailers, auction sites and supermarkets, with charity shops filling the void, I don't know if there's a solution to this.
The number of pubs seems about right for the size of the town, I read somewhere that some town centres were deserted during the day because of a large number of pubs and takeaways only opening in the evenings.
The cafe/restaurant numbers seem to manage demand at the weekends (I don't have the opportunity to visit through the week so can't comment on that.)
We don't have the large numbers of bookies and pawn brokers you see in other town centres.
There does seem to be a lack of public space around the street, I always thought more could be made of the area within the Fort and Victoria pier, although I appreciate it would cut down on parking and it is a busy working harbour.

#35 BigMouth

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 11:15 AM

I spoke to one trader who said that the bollards near Clydesdale had really affected their trade.  "People just won't walk these days" they said.  I can certainly understand if you have mobility impairment or if you are running a major international conglomerate from Shetland and just don't have the tme to spare to get to the chemist without going in a car.  You could send one of your staff though.  Mainly it is plain idleness.  You don't know how lucky you are with all the free parking within 100 yards of the shops.  Take a trip down south and you can pay through the nose for your parking.

 

More enlightened places south, admittedly with better weather conditions, have seen environments completely change when the places have been pedestrianised.  Shops have seen a greater footfall and spend.  The must get out of here mentality has changed to one of a relaxed environment.

 

Of course, greedy landlords won't help the longevity of shops in the street that seem to pop up and disappear in no time at all, but one traffic-free day would surely not be too much to ask for, and preferably one when the shops are open.


Edited by BigMouth, 21 August 2015 - 11:15 AM.

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#36 George.

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 04:05 PM

Let's face it, Commercial Street was not designed for cars and vans to drive along. A Shetland pony or two, possibly pulling a wee cart, is the most that the street can handle but, strangely enough, you never see them nowadays. You do see people driving cars for thirty or forty yards because they feel that everyone should be aware that they're in a hurry, though. Don't give in to them, don't get out of their way. Make them wait, and therefore make their short trip really feel like a waste of time. After all, it's a waste of everybody else's time every time they pass by and expect us to get out of their way because they're important people and in a (supposedly) great hurry.


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#37 Windwalker

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 08:29 AM

but one traffic-free day would surely not be too much to ask for, and preferably one when the shops are open.


This is an excellent idea BigMouth. they could have two days a week with no traffic, other than disabled, to see how this affects business. Surely the shops can organised deliveries etc out with these two days.

It would be worth trying it for a trial period of say six months to see how it affects people using the street.

#38 magnie ii

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 08:43 AM

surely if shops gain no trade by cars being able to park outside for free supermarkets and shopping centres all over the country would cashing in selling there land local examples exist of the benefits to trade seen by more parking look at bolts after they got rid of there pumps yet it was only 30 metres to walk from there car park at the toll clock but people still wanted to be able to stop outside the door



#39 AlexandraS

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 08:59 AM

I for one would be happy to have a slow meander down the street exploring the shops (and spending cash) if I didn't feel my two small children were about to get mown down at any moment... as it is I tend to get in and get out asap. 


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#40 George.

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 05:12 PM

Commercial Street and the traders that attempt to do business there, along with the traffic that has no reasonable excuse for being there, is justification for continued business on the internet.


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