Councillors are being asked to back plans to reopen the centre of a north-east town to traffic.
Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Buchan area committee will be asked next week to consider allowing vehicles to use Chapel Street and a section of Marischal Street in Peterhead.
The move would allow general traffic to access Broad Street without having to follow the one-way system around the harbour area – currently only buses and emergency vehicle are allowed in.
Chapel Street and Marischal Street were pedestrianised as part of the Peterhead town centre improvements scheme in 2001.
A recent study by a consortium of architects and planners into how to breathe new life into the beleaguered town centre said that reopening the streets to traffic would bring more people into the area and be a catalyst for regeneration.
In a report to go before the committee on Tuesday, the council’s roads manager, Alan Burns, warns that safety measures, such as bollards, would need to be installed to keep shoppers walking in the area safe from cars.
He states: “The current layout of these streets was designed as a pedestrianised zone.
“As a result, it will be necessary to provide a physical separation between pedestrians and vehicular traffic to prevent incursion onto the footway areas by vehicles.
“It is envisaged that this may be achieved by the installation of footway-edge bollards of similar design to those currently installed on Marischal Street.”
The committee is being asked to approve an investigation into how feasible the work would be and to begin the process of revoking existing traffic orders.
They are also being urged to allow officers to go through with reopening the area to traffic if no objections are lodged during a 21-day public consultation.
Many businesses have blamed the pedestrianised zone for a downturn in trade.
Earlier this year, businessman Donald Begg blamed the closure of his family’s shoe shop, Beggs Shoes and Bags, on several factors, including a lack of on-street parking.