Businesses and the public are being encouraged to attend the first consultation event regarding the possible pedestrianisation of the Brae in Nairn.
The event will take place on Monday, November 27 in the Nairn Community & Arts Centre between 6.30 and 9pm. It will provide an opportunity for the public to have their say and share ideas on how to shape the High Street.
The consultation follows a number of public consultations which were held in Nairn by The Highland Council in 2019 to find out how the local community felt about their town centre. One of the main themes to emerge was how to get around the area with less car dependency.
As result of these consultations, The Highland Council published the Nairn Active Travel Masterplan in 2021 which set out 16 interventions to support the movement of people by walking and cycling.
The aim for Nairn Active Travel Masterplan is to encourage more people to walk, wheel and cycle for their everyday journeys, making car use less dominant. The priorities include creating a walking, wheeling and cycling network, improving the high street pedestrian experience.
The Brae is identified within the masterplan as intervention number 5.
Councillor Ken Gowans, Chair of the Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee said: “Following successful funding through the scheme, consultants are now in place, and the first community consultation event will be held later this month. These events will provide local residents and business operators alike the opportunity to have their say.”
To accelerate delivery of these interventions and provide much sought after improvement, during 2022, Nairn Connects Bid, in partnership with the Council submitted an application to Places for Everyone (PfE), an active travel infrastructure programme funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Sustrans Scotland.
The application was successful and £37,000 was secured to push forward with the feasibility study.
This funding will allow the consultants Connected Transport Planning, to explore how active travel can be incorporated into the lower section of High Street and look at options to improve the space and reduce the severance impact of the A96(T) between the Harbour and High Street.
Nairn BID manager, Lucy Harding said: “This project has been a long time coming and we are delighted that now the funding is in place, things are moving quickly. We urge as many people to come along to give their views.
“The case for pedestrianisation has been raised in the past, but with Highland Council backing the idea in its Active Travel Masterplan, we anticipate a more receptive response in the current climate.