Could traffic be banned from Cowgate to make way for market?

Photograph Jamie Forbes 7.9.13. Cowgate, Kirkintilloch.
Photograph Jamie Forbes 7.9.13. Cowgate, Kirkintilloch.

THERE has been a surge of support for a suggestion to pedestrianise the Cowgate area of Kirkintilloch and use it for market stalls.

The council has developed a masterplan to help revitalise the town centre, with various options and partners involved.

Reader Pete Jones suggested: “For the Kirkintilloch Masterplan, why not pedestrianise Cowgate and put permanent market stalls, maybe with local produce, up the middle?”

That has drawn a generally favourable response from the Herald’s readers on Facebook.

Sharon McDermott said: “I think it’s a very good idea. People might want to go back to Kirkintilloch for shopping.”

Robert Smith added: “Great idea, but the parking would be a nightmare unless they address the problem.”

John Robertson said: “Took a walk down Cowgate for the first time in many a year a few weeks ago. It certainly needs something to liven the place up a bit.”

That sentiment was echoed by Tracey Marshall, who said: “Think it sounds like a great idea, it’s definitely needing something like that.”

David Nisbet added: “That would be great. I remember the market that used to be behind the Regent Gardens surgery.”

However, Joe Gilbey asked: “How do pensioners who rely on buses to get them close to the shops or the doctors fit in? It has to be open to public transport.”

And April Morrison insisted: “People would just avoid coming into the town and it would become even more of a ghost town than present.

“We need a good selection of shops and that won’t happen until rents and rates are more affordable for traders. I love supporting my local town and wouldn’t mind paying a little extra for things if they were available.”

Sammie Cochrane suggested: “Why not utilise the already empty spaces which the town centre already has? Cowgate gets loads of things, yet the Townhead end seems to be left.”

Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce director Robert Wilson said a monthly market would be worth considering.

He added: “In principle the chamber would have no objection to it on a trial basis provided local traders had an opportunity to display their wares as well.”

Thomas Glen, director of development and regeneration at the council, said: “There are no plans for the pedestrianisation of Cowgate – although there are many plans for the improvement of the town centre which have been highlighted in the Kirkintilloch Masterplan and we would encourage people to engage with the masterplan.”

A public consultation on the Kirkintilloch Town Centre Masterplan recently came to an end, with work on parts of the regeneration plans already well underway – including the town’s Barleybank car park.

It’s hoped that the end result will see Kirkintilloch Town Hall restored, a new public space created outside St Mary’s Parish Church, new housing and improved parking for visitors and residents alike.

Check out www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=20998 for full details of what’s planned.

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