Rat-run safety fears for pupils

Drumgrew Bridge near Twecher
Drumgrew Bridge near Twecher

Fears have been raised that a country road next to a school will be used as a ‘rat-run’ by drivers when a nearby main route shuts for eight months.

The B8048, which runs between Cumbernauld and Kirkintilloch, will remain closed for eight months from July 27 until March because of work by Network Rail on Drumgrew Bridge at Twechar.

Motorists have been advised to use Waterside Road – but residents of Wester Gartshore Estate are concerned the single-track Gartshore Road, which passes Gartconnel Primary School, will be used as a shortcut.

One local resident said: “This road, which has a 60mph limit is single track and not suitablef or heavy traffic.

“The closure of the B8048 will be during school term time and we fear for the safety of school children.

“In addition, the road is used on a daily basis by walkers, runners and horse riders, and there are no street lights or pavements.

“The council must do something about this.”

Grace Irvine, director of neighbourhood services said: “The Drumgrew Bridge is being demolished as part of Network Rail’s Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Plan (EGIP). They are therefore handling the bridge closure and diversion route.

“Originally they planned to build another bridge before demolishing Drumgrew, known as a tandem build. However, they have now advised this option is no longer affordable.

“While advising Network Rail we have recommended they signpost the Gartshore Road route as ‘local access only’ at both ends and also say it’s not suitable for long vehicles.

“We cannot legally restrict access or close the public road. The recommended diversion route is along Waterside Road where there are no school entrances.

She added the council understood people’s concerns about the issue.