Breaking news: Town centre traffic pilot scheme

Temporary traffic lights caused tailbacks
Temporary traffic lights caused tailbacks

Traffic lights are being temporarily reactivated in the centre of Kirkintilloch as an innovative trial continues.

Officers have decided that the lights will be switched back on at the junctions of Catherine Street/Cowgate and Kerr Street/Cowgate from tomorrow morning (Wednesday) to allow those attending a nearby school to get used to the new road layout.

A phased four-week trial is currently underway in the area - aimed at rebalancing movement in the town centre by giving pedestrians and cyclists priority, and changing driver behaviour.

The first two days saw the carriageways narrowed, traffic lights deactivated, lines and railings removed, and crossing points painted on the road surface.

From tomorrow (Wednesday, 13 August) the traffic lights will be turned back on to help people going to Lairdsland Primary School adjust to the temporary arrangements.

All the other changes brought in as part of the four-week trial will remain in place. The lights will then be deactivated early next week - allowing school staff, pupils and their families a phased introduction to the trial.

Thomas Glen, Director of Development and Regeneration, said, “Temporary traffic lights were in operation on Monday 11 August to allow work to take place at the junction and - regrettably - these did cause delays in the town centre.

“Since the temporary lights were removed, however, we have been able to see the trial in operation and there been no significant delays.

“The first two days - before the schools return in earnest - have given officers from the Council and Sustrans the chance to ensure the new layout will work and gather initial data.

“Officers have decided the signals will be switched back on during this ‘introduction period’ and then deactivated again early next week - supporting the implementation of the trial.

“We already have some very valuable information from the first two days of the trial and this phased approach allows us to continue gathering results while ensuring everyone is comfortable with the new arrangements.

“Officers will spend time with pupils, parents and teachers at Lairdsland Primary on Thursday and Friday, 14-15 August, to help explain the trial.

“In terms of the trial, it is very early days, but officers have reported a noticeable lack of queuing traffic since the temporary traffic lights were removed.

“Officers will continue to monitor and review the trial and feedback from all users is welcomed to allow an informed decision to be made on the future of the junction.

“This is a very new and innovative trial and I hope people bear with us. Please be aware if you are in Catherine Street or Cowgate that there may be some disruption as road users adjust to the changes.”

The carriageways have been narrowed to reduce the speed of vehicles. A non-priority junction scheme will be back in place early next week - meaning no stream of traffic has formal priority over the other.

The trial is being monitored 24 hours a day, looking at the movement of the vehicles and public transport, as well as pedestrians and cyclists.

The arrangements are in place for a period of four weeks, with the monitoring period lasting eight weeks.

East Dunbartonshire Council officers will be on-street at various points throughout the trial to speak to members of the public, explain the exercise and gather opinions.

It all forms part of Kirkintilloch Town Centre Masterplan - which aims to create “a reinvigorated heart for Kirkintilloch that is vibrant, welcoming and attractive” - providing a balance of leisure, civic, retail, business and tourism facilities.