COUNCILLORS have agreed to impose new parking restrictions near one of the busiest routes into Helensburgh – despite a petition with more than 550 signatures against part of the proposal.

Members of Argyll and Bute Council’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee agreed to introduce ‘no waiting at any time’ restrictions on West Montrose Street, Victoria Road and MacLachlan Road/East Munro Drive, as well as a similar restriction on Sinclair Street itself at the junction with West Montrose Street.

Initial plans for restrictions on MacLachlan Road sparked a petition with 555 signatures protesting about the impact on the Nippy Sweety newsagent – and prompted council officials to revise that aspect of the proposal, and to allow parking on part of the north side of MacLachlan Road.

Despite that revision, the objection to the MacLachlan Road proposal was maintained – but councillors decided to approve a new traffic regulation order (TRO) in spite of the concerns.

According to a report presented to councillors, objectors complained that introducing new yellow lines on MacLachlan Road would be “seriously detrimental to the small business relying on passing trade” and said there have been “no accidents and there is no road safety issue” in the area.

The Victoria Road proposal also sparked complaints that the move would “aggravate, not ease” the parking problems suffered by residents at Prince Albert Terrace, on the south side of Victoria Road, and a plea to the authority that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

But a report from the council’s roads and amenity services department said that all of the new restrictions “will introduce improvement to the road safety of all road users”.

Addressing concerns over the MacLachlan Road junction proposals, the report, by traffic and development manager Stuart Watson, stated: “This location has been the subject of complaints regarding parking from the local residents, many via the local members, over a number of years.

“The primary reason for the increase in complaints has been the result of the existing corner shop being brought back into use and the increased use of Helensburgh Upper station.

“In order to mitigate against the loss of parking on MacLachlan Road and to minimise the possible impact on the shop the ‘Nippy Sweety’, it was proposed to reduce the overall extent of the waiting restriction on the north side of the road.

“This proposed amendment to the initial proposal was issued to the related objections; however, neither accepted this alternative option and their objections have been maintained.”

Turning to the Victoria Road junction, Mr Watson’s report again said the location has been the source of complaints from residents, many of them made via local councillors, over a long period.

It continued: “Although public parking was introduced within the new development at Victoria Crescent this has not completely satisfied the demand in this location.”

No objections were lodged against the proposal to limit parking at the east end of West Montrose Street, or on Sinclair Street at either side of West Montrose Street itself.

Mr Watson stated in his report: “The recent installation of traffic signals to support the new car park at Hermitage Park have shown that inconsiderate parking continues across the junction which restricts the operational traffic flows.

“These new lights included a pedestrian phase which supports and improves all round pedestrian safety at this busy junction.

“The irresponsible car parking also has an adverse impact on pedestrians.”

The committee agreed that the TRO should be taken to the final stage of the statutory process, and the new order be made, with the amendment to the MacLachlan Road proposal.