Over 90 people attended a public meeting earlier this week to hear about a survey carried out by Meldrum Business Group to seek people’s views about the redevelopment in the town. Local Councillors and Council Officers were also there to respond to results andto comments made by local people.
The survey showed that, whilst the improvements to the town hall area of the town had been generally well-received, because it looked cleaner, tidier and more attractive, there was concern about the changes to the road system and the implications for road and pedestrian safety.
85 per cent of the people who responded to the survey felt that Oldmeldrum was not a safe place to drive, largely as a result of the new ‘courtesy’ traffic system in place at the main junction in the centre of town. Although this was introduced to slow traffic down, the majority of drivers found it confusing and it contributed to congestion, especially as cars have to reverse out of the car park into the traffic flow.
Since the change, more people have been using the bypass with fewer cars coming into the town. Of those who answered the survey, 43 per cent shopped less often in the town, 30 per cent used local services less frequently and 25 per cent did not come into the centre to meet friends as often as they used to.
On the positive side, there were a lot of suggestions about how the situation could be improved and the people had a lot to contribute in terms of their local knowledge and ideas. Of the potential solutions to the problems, the most popular was the reinstatement of road markings at the junction with 84 per cent support from the survey and a lot of agreement from the people present.
Council officers indicated that some of these issues, including parking in Oldmeldrum, will be discussed over the next few weeks and it was agreed that they would attend a second open meeting later in the year with solutions for discussion.
Jeff, Goodhall, Chair of Meldrum Business Group said: “Our group carried out the survey in the first place because people were telling us about the problems in the square, but we all felt that the Council was not listening and did not understand the problems. The survey results and the comments have helped to make those views heard, and we hope that the positive outcome of a further meeting will help to improve local communication in this area.”
Pat Robins, who carried out the survey, added: “We are very grateful to the people who took the time to fill in the survey, and who wrote so much about their concerns and ideas. It is obvious that people have very strong feelings about Oldmeldrum and they only want to see the problems sorted out so that the benefits of the renovations can be fully appreciated.”