Open for business? Council says latest town centre work will start ahead of schedule

Work in progress - Helensburgh town centre today
Work in progress – Helensburgh town centre today

The latest stage of the £6.6m CHORD works in Helensburgh will start six weeks ahead of schedule, it was announced this week.

The news prompted Argyll and Bute Council to issue a statement saying ‘Helensburgh town centre is open for business’.

The controversial work is now scheduled to be complete in mid-March 2015 – the original target was mid-summer this year.

Renovation work in phases 3 (Colquhoun Street North and East Princes Street, from Maitland Street to Sinclair Street) and 4A (Sinclair Street, from West/East King Street to West/East Princes Street) looks set to be completed well ahead of the original Christmas forecast, so the second element of Phase 4, the bottom half of Sinclair Street, can now begin.

The old pavement and road surface has been replaced, with new lay-bys for loading, improved drainage – although the effectiveness of this has been heavily criticised – new parking bays and new street lighting.

The new footpaths are intended to be wider to make it easier for pedestrians to get around the town.

As a result, the road is narrower, which the council says encourages traffic to move more slowly and, as a result, makes the town centre safer.

Phase 3 is now complete, which will mean the re-opening of East Princes Street, allowing buses to return to their normal routes, with the remaining phase 4A work expected to finish by Friday November 14.

When these phases are complete and the roads closures lifted, 23 new on-street parking bays will be available to motorists, as well as the Sinclair Street car park, which is continuing to offer ‘first two hours free’.

Following consultation with retailers in the bottom section of Sinclair Street, contractors McLays have proposed to complete the works on the eastern pavement before breaking for Christmas on Friday December 12.

Works will resume again on Monday January 5 with a view to completion before Easter.


  1. I was in Helensbuurgh yesterday….. It was a lovely day and I bought a poke of chips and sat in Colquhoun Square to eat. It is a pleasant space but as a keen gardener, I prefer the large flower beds that were there before to the designer shrubs that have replaced them. Anyway, this is a matter of taste. It’s certainly well done and the paving will outlast generations. Has it been a good use of millions? Has it been worth the disruption and resulting closure and stress of local businesses? I really don’t know. I just have this nagging suspicion that it’s some kind of stage set for the new council building, a monument to councillors ego. Maybe I’m being disingenuous… still, sitting on the fence is uncomfortable.

  2. Friday 12th December 2014 until Monday 5th January 2015 23 days? what other industry has these holidays? I’m quite surprised the project ever got this far. Wonder how long it will be before it falls behind again?

  3. It does look nice, but the flooding situation is worse than before. And do you remember anyone a few years ago saying ‘you know what this town needs? New pavements. Don’t worry about an out of town supermarket – people will travel miles to see new pavements!

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