Accident prompts call for re-think on St Andrews parking bays

The boarded up frontage of the shop premises in Market Street.
The boarded up frontage of the shop premises in Market Street.
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A FORMER councillor has urged Fife transportation officials to reintroduce angled parking in one of the main shopping streets in St Andrews town centre after a car smashed into a shop frontage.

Amazingly, no-one on the pavement or in the Edinburgh Woollen Mill premises in Market Street was injured, but the front display window was extensively damaged and is cordoned off on safety grounds.

Bill Sangster, chairman of the St Andrews and District Community Safety Panel, told the Citizen: ”It was very fortunate that no-one was hurt in this incident, although the cost of the damage is expected to run into several thousands pounds.

”It could very well have been avoided if the parking bays had been angled and not at 90 degrees to the shop fronts.”

It was during a £1.5 million upgrading of the street around 15 months ago that the former angled parking was replaced.

Mr Sangster added: ”At meetings prior to the street improvements and at the design stage, this safety issue was discussed at length, but the loss of two parking spaces was the reason for the problem which we face today. It is my view, for the sake of safety, the bays should be altered back to the angled parking as they were before.”

He also voiced other concerns about the parking in Market Steet, including that drivers are unsighted when reversing and that vehicles parked and offloading on the opposite side of the street adjacent to the bays cause great difficulty to vehicles reversing out or entering a bay.

He said: ”The front of vehicles overlap the pavement once parked, which has a narrowing effect on the walkway. The previous system was safer for pedestrians and other road users, easier for drivers to enter and see oncoming traffic and shoppers crossing the street when reversing.”

He has also suggested the introduction of a designated loading bay in the Market Street.

Mark Dewar, the local authority’s service manager for roads, design and construction, said: “This has been an unfortunate incident, but it would be wrong to make assumptions about the cause without knowing all the facts.

“When Market Street was redesigned and upgraded in 2011, maximising the number of parking spaces was a priority for everyone involved, and 90-degree parking was chosen for that reason. This layout provides sufficient width for vehicles using the parking bays, where vehicles are permitted to park opposite for 
offloading.”