Look out for tourists when driving in town

Police and town centre-based organisations have warned motorists to be extra careful when driving on Commercial Street.

They fear that as Lerwick town centre becomes busier because of the influx of cruise ship tourists there is a “higher risk” of accidents.

The stretch of road between the Market Cross and the Fort Chip Shop is a pedestrian only zone from 11.30am to 5.30pm between Monday and Friday, with only disability badge holders permitted to drive through for access purposes between those times.

Police inspector Martyn Brill said: “We would like to take this opportunity to advise drivers to be mindful of pedestrians in and about the town centre, particularly when visitors from cruise ships are enjoying the local area.

“The times during which the majority of vehicular traffic is prohibited from the main part of Commercial Street are clearly signposted and I would stress police will enforce the road traffic legislation where necessary.”

Living Lerwick project manager Emma Miller said: “At this time of year when there are often a large number of cruise ship visitors walking through the street, and not familiar with the road layout, there is a higher risk of an accident occurring.

“Verbal feedback strongly indicates that local shoppers are also often frustrated at having to dodge traffic during pedestrian only times, especially when there’s no blue badge on display in the car.”

• More on this story in Friday’s Shetland Times.


Add Your Comment
  • Michael Grant

    • May 22nd, 2018 12:02

    Be good to see a couple o Cops out on the street,On any given day they would catch heaps of drivers who have no right to drive along the street,Why wait until we have a cruise ship in to tell us to be more aware,It would also help if the tourists walked on the pavement and wait until the green man is flashing before they start crossing the roads.

  • Gordon downing

    • May 22nd, 2018 12:47

    Maybe this should be signposted better, most drivers ignore the pedestrianisation of this part of da Street. Folk often have to give way to cars being driven along the street during these times

  • Pat Marley

    • June 26th, 2019 6:20

    Hahaha, when was the last time you saw a copper on the beat in the town?
    If traffic had not marked the Esplanade with those strange coloured markings maybe tourists would not use them as “official” looking crossings.
    As for Commercial St. I agree that it would be better to pedestrianise it but businesses would suffer if delivery vehicles were stopped any earlier and before anyone says “oh they should deliver earlier” check the opening times of a lot of businesses.
    A traffic warden would be the answer but one of the last employed was used as a handyman, vehicle delivery driver and could not go on patrol unless he was accompanied by a copper allegedly and you know how hard it is to find one of them.


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