Cars will this month able to drive on Paisley High Street for the first time in 18 years – with a date now confirmed for the reopening of the street to evening traffic.
The revised traffic order allowing cars and taxis access to the street between 6.30pm and 6.30am will come into force on Monday 13th July.
The move is being introduced by Renfrewshire Council as a way to open up the town centre at night and inject new life into the evening economy.
It means the High Street will still be a pedestrianised shopping area during the day, but will open up in the evenings to allow access to vehicles too.
Access will only be one-way – from Moss Street, down County Place and along Gilmour Street, then turning right on to the High Street and out towards the west end.
Vehicles will not be able to turn on to the High Street from St Mirren Brae or Gauze Street.
As it stands, there is an existing traffic order allowing access to the street for delivery vehicles in the evening and early morning through that route.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “These plans have been in the making for more than two years, but having now received the green light we are pleased to confirm the date.
“The aim is to make it easier for cars and taxis to get through the town at night – at the moment they have to drive round the town centre rather than through it.
“By doing this we will be bringing more life into the town in the evening, which we hope will open up access to and boost trade for pubs, restaurants and cafes.
“Essentially, this offers the best of both worlds – a pedestrianised street based around retail in the day, and a shared surface at night offering easier access to all.
“Opening up the High Street in the evening isn’t about ‘trying to bring the shops back’ – the retail environment has changed dramatically since 1997, when the High Street was originally pedestrianised.
“Instead, this is intended to help a different type of business. We are not saying it will on its own change Paisley’s fortunes – but it is a step worth trying, and one which is taking place as part of a much bigger overall vision, one which will benefit traders.
“The council is already delivering on a much bigger and hugely ambitious set of plans for Paisley, which will use the town’s outstanding heritage and cultural assets to drive regeneration and benefit businesses and residents alike.
“That includes an expansion of our existing events programme, plans for a major revamp of Paisley Museum, and ongoing work to bring historic buildings like the Russell Institute and Arnotts back into use – attracting people into the town to live and work.
“Tying all of that together will be the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, which we hope will be the catalyst for a sustained economic boost and a new sense of pride in Paisley and all it has to offer.
“We believe all of the above shows Paisley is on the right road.”