Stop all the nonsense (Neil M Anderson)

Much has been written about the proposed speed humps for the Esplanade and the pedestrianisation of Commercial Street in Lerwick but in my opinion it is all miles wide of the mark.
Firstly the speed humps and general destruction of the Esplanade. It seems from reports in the media that this is an “accident black spot” with a reputation far and beyond anywhere else in the country (or Scotland at least). These are statistics which can often be interpreted in different ways depending on one’s point of view.

One gets the impression that pedestrians are constantly being hurled in the air and against walls in the most dangerous stretch of road imaginable. What we have not yet been told is how many of these accidents were caused by jaywalkers.

I have crossed this road thousands of times over the past 35 years and have never had any cause for concern. I have, however, seen people do most extraordinary things while showing total disregard for their own safety.

Don’t get me started on the use, sorry, misuse of crossings. It has to be seen to be believed. Speed humps and reformed crossings will do nothing except cost money, if in some cases, careless and thoughtless pedestrians are still involved in the equation.

With regard to the pedestrianisation of Commercial Street it is a no-brainer. I notice in last week’s Shetland Times Les Sinclair extolling the virtues of Kirkwall where vehicles are prohibited except blue badge holders, with motorists and delivery vehicles allowed in the earlier part of the day and with speed restriction. Well, you don’t say.

This same system has been operating on Commercial Street for donkey’s years but few pay the blindest notice to it and yes there are signs.

Now I come to the point. They did pay heed to the laws and rules when we had a traffic warden but since that post vanished? Well!

It is essential that delivery vehicles and motorists have access to the street as they do up until 11.30am, whereafter blue badge holders may enter at all other times. You can alter these times and make different restrictions all you want but without a traffic warden you are wasting your time, energy and money.

One of the main problems in and around the street area is lack of short-stay parking. More spaces seem to disappear with no alternative being offered. How many shop workers park all day in the short-term spaces? I see you every day.

There was a “consultation”, and I use the word loosely, in a portable cabin in Harrison Square for a day. It was more of “we are here to show you what we are going to do”.

By the way disabled persons in any way interested in what was going on inside were excluded. No ramp and the step of the door 15 inches off the ground. Another waste of time and money.

I have heard and seen the many viewpoints, pros and cons but they don’t wash with me. Please stop all this nonsense now, leave things as they are and for goodness sake get a traffic warden. There is money to be made.

Neil M Anderson


Add Your Comment
  • John N Hunter

    • February 22nd, 2017 16:40

    Well said Neil! Long term parking in short term spaces is the biggest problem for the street.

    • Heather Butler

      • February 22nd, 2017 23:45


      I have to say that since a tragic accident happened at the pier, some 60 years ago approx. not much has happened since, I am glad to report on the traffic front.

      The street has been flagging for some years. People are not so interested anymore in buying or browsing, partly due to the lack of choice and high prices. I consider that street prices are driven by the high rates set,by the Council.

      The fact that they can drive and stop is a big incentive to them to visit the Street.

      There are now so many disabled spaces in front of the Royal Bank, that there is now a huge drawback, to any potential shopper, wishing to make a quick visit to the street. So they will tend to just shop at Tesco or the Co op.

  • George Munro

    • February 22nd, 2017 20:37

    Very well said,Neil. In the 35 years mentioned can anyone tell me just how many accidents there have been, and how many were the drivers fault? As to the Lerwick of today compared to yesteryear, pedestrians are pretty near a thing of the past on that bit of road. Some when the cruise ships come and the rest made up mostly from Friday/Saturday night party people.Mishaps on our roads will always occur,mostly due to either conditions or adult carelessness/stupidity.
    Would the powers to be not be better employed, looking at the Lochside road(hopefully they are), as in a few months, hundreds of bairns will be on foot making their way to and from school. Do accidents have to happen before they act? Stop wasting money on unnecessary schemes, and protect the youngsters who will be criss-crossing this busy, fast road.

  • Gary Peterson

    • February 22nd, 2017 21:40

    Totally agree with Neil and I have always thought the 2 way traffic system below the fort is an accident waiting to happen. What was wrong with it before? There is an old saying “If it works dunna fix it”.

  • Donnie Morrison

    • February 28th, 2017 12:31

    The only reason I can see for the Council’s desire to carry out the town centre alterations as so eloquently described by Neil – is that a large percentage of their reserve fund is invested in Amazon.
    Just a thought……


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