First phase of town centre roadworks a month behind schedule

Roadworks have run more than a month over schedule.
Roadworks have run more than a month over schedule.

East Dunbartonshire Council has issued a press release, giving its reasons for a month-long delay of the completion of the first phase of roadworks at Kirkintilloch town centre.

The roadworks at Cowgate began on February 8 and were due to be completed on May 2.

But the council says it will now be June before this stage of the work is finished, to pave the way for the controversial shared space scheme in the area. No date has yet been given.

Here is the press release in full:

“Buses and cars will be able to drive from Townhead to Cowgate again from next month following essential gas maintenance and improvement works.

SGN has been working in the Townhead and Cowgate area, close to the Catherine Street junction, for around six weeks and is due to be finished in the area by the end of this week.

The work was considerably more extensive than first anticipated by the utility company, causing an unavoidable delay with the first phase of the Cowgate public realm project.

However, partnership working between the Council, its contractor Rainton Construction and SGN has minimised the disruption by sharing the closure, and vehicles will be able to use the closed stretch of road from 20 June.

Rainton is currently forging ahead with new high-quality road and paving in the area between Townhead Bridge and Catherine Street.

Meanwhile, businesses which can demonstrate they have been affected by ongoing works could be eligible for assistance with their rates bills by extending the payment period.

East Dunbartonshire Council Leader Rhondda Geekie said: ‘Pedestrian access is being maintained throughout the works and I would urge people to continue to support Kirkintilloch town centre through this transitional period.

‘People and businesses have been asking for investment in the town centre for many years and I am glad we have been able to deliver that with support from Sustrans and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.

‘Improvements already delivered in the town centre - including Barleybank Square, West High Street, Townhead and Broadcroft - indicate just how good Kirkintilloch will look when the work is complete.

‘We believe the modernisation works will help usher in a new era for the town - attracting new shops, services, visitors and investment.

“We have been monitoring the town centre works and know there has been unavoidable disruption for traders, shoppers and residents.

‘However, we are doing everything we can to keep that disruption to a minimum - liaising closely with local businesses, residents and Kirkintilloch Town Centre Champions.

‘There is a process which traders can go through if they feel the works have negatively impacted on them, which could result in the Council extending the rates payment period by prior agreement if the traders can demonstrate hardship.*

‘In addition, Council support is available to local traders through Business Gateway, with a range of services on offer.’

SGN originally requested to access the Townhead area in May - but that would have meant digging up recently-completed improvements, so an alternative solution was agreed to minimise disruption.

* For more details, contact the Council’s business support team on 0300 123 4510.”