Victoria Road roundabout a solution to old problems

TOWN residents and business operators have accused the local authority of living in the past as the council makes plans for a roundabout to alleviate a build-up of traffic that was streamlined long ago.

The council has plans to fell a tree and demolish a perimeter wall of the Common Haugh car park on the corner of Victoria Road and Albert Road to make way for a roundabout.

But, people in the area have branded the project – understood to cost £90,000 and be largely funded by Sainsbury’s – unnecessary after developments in recent years.

Cameron Deans, the retail manager at William Lockie’s cashmere outlet on Albert Road, said footfall at the market in the Haugh, which once brought heavy traffic to the area, has dropped considerably.

He said: “The market used to be busy – now, it’s not. I think that the money would be better spent elsewhere.”

Ian Whillans, owner of knitwear supplier Charles N Whillans, suggested that a filter lane for traffic turning left from Victoria Road onto Albert Road may alleviate a build-up of traffic. He added: “I’ve been here 40 years and I’ve never seen any problems. It’s busier at schooltime, but tell me any road in Britain near a school that’s not busy then.”

Local resident Isabelle Smith, 73, of Wellington Court, said that since the traffic lights on Commercial Road had been moved, queues of vehicles were now far less frequent. She added: “It sometimes gets a bit busy, but since they shifted the lights, there’s not a problem.”

Councillor Stuart Marshall said he would rather see the money spent on other nearby roads. He added: “Another good idea would be for this money to be spent upgrading the surface of the Common Haugh car park as it is in bad need of attention.”

A council spokesman said that concerns about the junction had been raised by local residents and Sainsbury’s supermarket.