Protester blasts council traffic calming plans

30-08-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres.     KIRKINTILLOCH Shared Space campaign. Councillor Jack Young, MP John Nicolson, Sandy Taylor, East Dunbartonshire Visually Impaired Forum and Guide Dogs for Blind Sensory Bus exhibition and protest against shared space plan, at Catherine Street on Cowgate, as part of canal exhibition
30-08-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres. KIRKINTILLOCH Shared Space campaign. Councillor Jack Young, MP John Nicolson, Sandy Taylor, East Dunbartonshire Visually Impaired Forum and Guide Dogs for Blind Sensory Bus exhibition and protest against shared space plan, at Catherine Street on Cowgate, as part of canal exhibition

Work is to start soon on traffic calming measures as part of a controversial shared space scheme for a town centre – but a leading opponent claims it won’t slow down vehicles.

At a meeting last month, the council agreed to install several two-inch raised speed tables from Townhead Bridge to West High Street, in Kirkintilloch, and introduce a 20mph speed limit. It’s understood work will begin within the next couple of months.

However, Sandy Taylor, who is part of the Equality Design Forum set up by East Dunbartonshire Council to consult with disabled groups on the scheme said: “Earlier the council had planned to install substantial speed bumps to slow traffic.

“These have been scrapped as neither cyclists nor buses would be happy with them. Instead there are to be speed tables.

“However as they will be only around two inches in height, they will 
not be effective in slowing traffic.”

A Traffic Regulation Order is needed before work can begin on the speed tables.

Sandy said: “It is understood the council’s own legal services department will decide on the order. I will be urging the public to oppose the granting of this as it is being sought in preparation for the removal of controlled crossings at the junction at Catherine Street and throughout Cowgate.

“The council is sticking two fingers up to the people of the town by disregarding what the public wants.”

The council’s decision to remove traffic lights and safety barriers, particularly at the busy Catherine Street junction, has been met with widespread public concern, particularly from disabled campaigners.

However, council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “I am pleased we are progressing with our plans for Kirkintilloch town centre because, make no mistake, doing nothing is not an option. We need to work together to help regenerate Kirkintilloch as a destination for people to work, shop and visit – as well as attracting new businesses.”