Fresh fears over shared space

30-04-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres.   Protest at Council HQ against Catherine Street junction plans

30-04-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres. Protest at Council HQ against Catherine Street junction plans

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Further road safety fears have been raised over a controversial ‘shared space’ scheme after hundreds of pupils were decanted this week.

The 350 pupils of Holy Family Primary School started the new term by moving into the old Lairdsland Primary at Kerr Street after the shock discovery of structural damage in their school building.

Concerns have been raised over the increase of traffic at the same time as work is set to begin on the town centre shared space project.

Parents voiced their 
concern on the Herald’s Facebook page.

One resident said: “I do hope they won’t be implementing the Catherine Street shared space nonsense until the kids are back to their 
normal school.”

The move is expected to last until Christmas - while East Dunbartonshire Council have said work on the scheme will begin in early autumn.

The plans include 
removing traffic lights and barriers at the Catherine Street/Kerr Street junction.

There has been widespread opposition to the plan, particularly from disabled groups who are fighting to have the decision overturned.

This week, Chairman of East Dunbartonshire Visually Impaired Forum, Sandy Taylor, told the Herald he was concerned over the rise in traffic as a result of the school move.

He said: “We welcome any council efforts in ensuring the safety and well being of the children involved.

“However, the blind and visibly impaired, the disabled, the elderly and other vulnerable people are not being 
afforded the same consideration by the council in the proposed shared space scheme.

“We are expected to cross the busy Main Street without any assistance and with no traffic controls whatsoever.

“We therefore must be expendable, as far as the council is concerned.”

Thomas Glen, director of development and regeneration, said: “The Catherine Street junction traffic lights are currently operational and will remain so for the rest of this year.

“There will be some preliminary works associated with the Cowgate Street Design Project in the autumn, but full works won’t start until 2016.”

He added the programming of works at the junction had yet to be confirmed and said: “Any work in the area of the junction will be discussed in advance with the school.”