MSP hits out at council chief’s response to shared space safety concerns

Traffic cnes have been put up after bollards were flattened twice by vehicles turning at Catherine Street when traffic lights and safety barriers were removed.

Traffic cnes have been put up after bollards were flattened twice by vehicles turning at Catherine Street when traffic lights and safety barriers were removed.

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Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay has slammed the head of East Dunbartonshire Council after she raised safety concerns with him over the removal of traffic lights at a busy town centre junction.

The SNP MSP said the response by Chief Executive of East Dunbartonshire Council Gerry Cornes to her request that traffic lights be re-instated urgently at the Catherine Street junction in Kirkintilloch has been “extremely disappointing”.

The SNP MSP wrote to the council boss on behalf of many constituents who she said are worried about the safety aspects for pedestrians and motorists at the shared space scheme the length of Cowgate which is still under construction.

Ms Mackay said: “I wrote to the Chief Executive to ask for the traffic lights to be re-instated at their original location at the Catherine Street junction as a matter of urgency.

“However, his reply did not address any of the concerns I raised and instead he justified the actions taken so far by the council.

“It seems the council – led by a Labour/Tory administration – is unwilling to listen to suggestions which residents are making and are determined to railroad this junction re-design through, regardless of public opinion.

“I now plan to write to Rhondda Geekie, as an elected member and leader of the administration, to ask if she will instruct the officers to reinstate the lights, and if that is not possible, I will ask her how she intends to address the problem highlighted by the residents of Kirkintilloch.”

The MSP’s stance has been welcomed by campaigners. Thousands of local people have been protesting against the council’s Cowgate works, which began in February this year.

They say they fear for the safety of pedestrians, particularly disabled people, blind people, the lederly and children.

The Herald contacted the council over Ms Mackay’s latest concerns and are awaiting its response.