Pavements too tight for safety
Pitlochry is to get help to widen its narrow pavements to help with social distancing.
The town authorities complained the capital of Perthshire tourism was feeling left behind.
Pitlochry and Moulin Community Council secretary Andrew Holmes wrote to the three Highland ward councillors last week, saying elderly people feared walking in the town centre and that pinch points on pavements had made it “a no-go zone” for the vulnerable.
Mr Holmes flagged up the £10 million Spaces for People fund from the Scottish Government to help with physical distancing measures in towns and cities.
Although Perth and Kinross secured £1.1 million from this fund, community leaders claim it has still not being translated into action on the ground in Pitlochry.
Mr Holmes’s letter said: “Atholl Road at the post boxes is one of a large number of pinch points in the town centre where it is completely impossible to maintain any form of social distancing except by walking outside a line of parked cars and along a busy road. The situation at the two cash machines is even worse.
“We are seeing increasing numbers of visitors, many of whom are ignoring distancing rules, and we are aware that vulnerable residents increasingly feel that their own town centre is a no-go area.
“Pitlochry is the biggest tourist destination in Perth and Kinross and hence at a disproportionate risk.”
Assessments have been carried out of narrow footways, bridges and other constrained areas where additional measures may be needed to reduce unnecessary contact between pedestrians.
Tayside Contracts has started manufacturing the required signs and footpath transfer markings are appearing in Perth. They are due to be in Pitlochry this week and then Aberfeldy.
Councillor John Duff said the council has identified three areas of Atholl Road where the narrow footpath footway obstructions will require action.
He added that shops should avoid A-boards outside their shops and other obstacles to pedestrians.
PKC officials will work with the community council to assess the measures and discuss any further physical distancing concerns.
Cllr Duff said: “This has been a significant project for the council to deliver across the whole of Perth and Kinross in a relatively short time and against the backdrop of dealing with the response to COVID-19.
“Given the shortage of materials and resources, I greatly appreciate the efforts of officers to accommodate these proposals as quickly as they have.
“Along with representatives of the community council, I will meet with council officers to review their effectiveness and suggest any further measures which may help.”