Fresh safety fears after crash at busy junction

The broken road barrier
The broken road barrier

Campaigners claim their safety fears over controversial plans for a busy town centre 
junction have been vindicated after a road accident.

A safety railing at Catherine Street junction in Kirkintilloch was badly damaged after it was struck by a vehicle last Monday.

Campaigners, including Councillor Jack Young and members of East Dunbartonshire Visually Impaired Forum, said someone walking on the pavement could easily have been badly injured or killed if the barrier had not been there to bear the brunt of the impact.

East Dunbartonshire Council wants to remove both the safety railings and traffic lights at the junction as part of its shared space plans.

Sandy Taylor of EDVIF said: “Those campaigning to retain traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and safety barriers in Kirkintilloch Town Centre, can with some justification claim these safety measures were installed for a good reason.

“Had these railings not been in place the vehicle would have mounted the pavement and collided with the shop fronts along Cowgate.

“Had any pedestrians been present it would surely have resulted in fatalities and serious injuries.”

Councillor Young added: “This accident brings home the fact that the railings are there for a very very good reason - to protect people, Our concern is if the railings are taken away there will be nothing to stop a vehicle mounting the pavement.”

Thomas Glen, Director of Development and Regeneration, said: “Pedestrian guardrails are designed to crumple on impact with vehicles. They are not crash barriers designed to prevent vehicles from infringing on the footpath.

“We believe this underlines the need for action to improve the layout of the junction and introduce measures to reduce traffic speeds in the area - including speed tables and a 20mph limit.”

He added that bollards would also be strategically-placed on each corner of the junction.”