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Dornoch one-way suggestion knocked back

By Caroline McMorran

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A HIGHLAND Council chief has knocked back a suggestion that a one-way traffic system be introduced to Dornoch in order to make the town more “Covid-19 resilient”.

Local businessman Paul Maden, who runs Cocoa Mountain, was keen to see traffic diverted via Eaglefield Road, leaving the town square a pedestrianised zone.

An empty Dornoch town square during lockdown.
An empty Dornoch town square during lockdown.

He felt this would be safer for shoppers queuing to get into local outlets and also be more pedestrian and cycle friendly.

But the local authority’s head of infrastructure Colin Howell has now responded that the route identified was “tortuous for both 15m coaches and HGVs, requiring them to use both lanes on the swing into the Meadows.

Stagecoach has also confirmed it was not prepared to consider the route.

In an email Mr Howell stated: “We are prepared to consider other interventions but they have to be first viable, safe and benefit the wider community and local businesses.”

He added: “Dornoch is not in the bid at the moment for funding but we do have contingency funds that we can reach agreement over allocation with Sustrans who administer the grant – we have many such requests across Highland and are considering which to submit for Sustrans from the non-allocated funds that we have.”

Meanwhile, Dornoch hotelier Colin Thompson has said that the town is “100 per cent” ready to welcome visitors despite Mr Maden’s claims.

He said: “I think everyone in the business community is a bit flummoxed by these comments. Dornoch is absolutely 100 per cent ready. Every business from little shops, to cafés and bigger outlets have put in a huge amount of work in behind the scenes to ensure their business delivers the new protocol.”

Mr Thompson praised Dornoch Area Community Interest Group for the work it had undertaken to keep its business members informed of government guidance.

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