Hundreds sign up to petition

Margaret Hutchison of EDVIP
Margaret Hutchison of EDVIP

Hundreds of people have been supporting blind and partially sighted campaigners in their safety fears over plans for a busy road junction.

Sandy Taylor, chairman of East Dunbartonshire Visually Impaired Forum and 
fellow campaigners have been staging a public protest at the Catherine Street junction for weeks now.

There has been widespread concern over council plans to remove traffic lights, barriers and kerbs at the busy crossing.

People fear for the safety of children, the elderly and 
disabled and say the plans are being railroaded through.

Visually Impaired Forum members have collected 
hundreds of signatures for a petition against the changes.

They intend to hand this over and stage a further public protest outside East Dunbartonshire Council HQ on Thursday, April 30. The full council is due to meet to 
consider signing off the final approval for the plans which are part of a £2.6m makeover of the Cowgate area.

Councillors have been warned if they scrap or tone down the proposals they risk losing up to 60 per cent of the funding from environment group Sustrans and Strathclyde Passenger Transport.

Local firms have reacted angrily to the planned changes, with one claiming she lost more than £1,000 during a four-week trial at the junction last summer.

Jacqui Fairbairn of Gemini Cards situated at the junction said: “I have never seen so many people so angry.

“I would like the councillors who gave the go ahead for these plans to come down to the site and speak to people and get their views.

“Not one person who has come into my shop has been in favour of this.

“It is absolutely disgraceful that blind people have to come to the junction to fight for a safe crossing.”

At least a dozen people signed Sandy’s petition in the space of 10 minutes last Tuesday.

They included Kirkintilloch childminder Joan Foster, who said: “I’m often in Kirkintilloch with a buggie and 
toddlers. The thought of there being no pedestrian crossing here makes me very nervous. I would stop coming here.”

Jacqui added: “People will stop coming to the town centre and more shops will close. Is this what the council wants?”