Controversial plans for a cycle path in Paisley’s Causeyside Street have been dropped following sustained business and community pressure.
The proposals, which included the two-way route between Canal Street and Gilmour Street stations and so-called ‘floating bus stops’, sparked outrage among town centre traders.
They were worried the idea would cause congestion and put off customers from visiting their shops – even warning it would plunge their livelihoods into jeopardy.
A petition launched by Paisley First, the business improvement district, which voiced opposition and called for an urgent rethink, gathered more than 2,500 signatures.
It has since been confirmed in a report set to be discussed at Wednesday’s leadership board that after feedback from businesses and communities the regeneration proposal is “not in a position to move to the construction phase”.
“The Causeyside Street proposals will not move forward in their current form with a segregated cycle route,” the paper added.
But Renfrewshire Council is considering bus priority measures and ways of improving traffic flow and safety at and around four town centre junctions.
Reacting to the decision, Colette Cardosi, chair of Paisley First, said: “Thanks to local businesses and residents in the Paisley town centre community working together, we are thrilled that common sense has prevailed and Renfrewshire Council will no longer be proceeding with a segregated cycle route along Causeyside Street.
“Given the widespread opposition to these plans, it is crucial that local businesses and residents are fully involved in any future plans from the beginning and that any new schemes are developed with economic and safety issues fully considered and taken into account.
“We remain committed to Keeping Causeyside Street Safe for all, protecting local businesses and the local community.”
Councillor Kenny MacLaren, an SNP rep for Paisley Northwest, said: “I am pleased that we’ve listened to the concerns raised by businesses, residents groups, the local community council and individuals and shelved the plans for the cycle path in Causeyside Street.
“I’ve attended a number of meetings regarding this proposal and have yet to hear one person speak positively about it.
“Hopefully full consultation with residents and businesses can find a way forward to develop suitable proposals for a bus partnership which will enhance Causeyside Street as a great place to live, work and shop.”
Councillor Will Mylet, an SNP rep for Paisley East and Central, said it was the “right decision”.
He added: “The cycle path proposals would have killed off shops in Causeyside Street, so this move is to be welcomed.”
Councillor Iain McMillan, leader of the Labour group, said: “Causeyside Street is arguably the busiest area of Paisley and you tamper with it at your peril. There’s been a lot of people involved in this – our group, the businesses and concerned residents – and they’ve been listened to.”
Councillor Ben Smith, a Labour rep for Paisley Northwest, said: “We have always been of the view that these plans were ill-thought-out and were a bad deal for businesses and bus users.
“We are glad the administration has finally listened to these views.”
A council spokesperson said: "The Causeyside Street regeneration proposals are designed to enhance walking, cycling and public transport connections for residents, businesses and visitors on Causeyside Street, as well as improve parking and traffic flow.
"As part of our extensive engagement process, we have been liaising with the community, elected members and businesses throughout to ensure the plans would work for the town centre and after listening to their feedback, we are proposing not to take forward the current planned cycle lane at this time.
"We will be continuing our engagement on Causeyside Street, in particular the junction with Gordon Street, as part of future plans to improve traffic flow in the area and the local community will be involved as always in future planning."
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