Looking to the future . . . ambitious proposals for town centre unveiled

Masterplan consultation
Masterplan consultation

Hundreds of people recently seized the chance to see how Kirkintilloch town centre might look in the coming years.

East Dunbartonshire Council officers were present at the series of events designed to give residents, traders and visitors a look at concept designs for the Cowgate area.

The plans - part of the ongoing Kirkintilloch Town Centre Masterplan - aim to inject new life into the town centre by lowering traffic speeds, prioritising pedestrian movement and improving the quality of public spaces .

Exhibitions were held in the vacant Wheel Nuts Unit, in Catherine Street, Kirkintilloch, and a display was set up in the foyer of Kirkintilloch Community Hub. There was also an online survey.

More than 200 people attended the exhibitions and around 3,500 leaflets were handed out to people.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “Feedback from the events and online survey is currently being reviewed, but overall our officers report that it was a very positive experience.

“I am pleased that people were able to gain a greater understanding of what the intention is for the Cowgate area and what the Kirkintilloch Masterplan is trying to achieve.

“The vast majority of people who attended the exhibitions filled in surveys and their views will help to shape what happens next.

“While the feedback was largely positive, there wasn’t unanimous backing for the council’s proposals.

“However, we received constructive feedback and I am pleased people took the time to engage with officers on the concepts and the way forward.

“It has been a very worthwhile exercise.”

Councillor Geekie continued: “The Kirkintilloch Town Centre Masterplan - which was shaped through consultation with a range of local stakeholders - communicates the need for a strong, vibrant town centre and we are striving towards that.”

She added: “However, we can only achieve our goals in conjunction with a range of partners - in both public and private sectors.

“For example, the vast majority of commercial properties in the town centre are privately owned - with the business rates set nationally.”

A controversial month-long pilot project at the Catherine Street junction, which removed the traffic lights and gave pedestrians the right of way, prompted hundreds of complaints from Herald readers in August this year.

As part of the the ongoing project, a report on the pilot traffic scheme will be provided to the council’s development and regeneration committee in the coming weeks.