Council press ahead with ‘Catherine Street Junction Trial’ in Kirkintilloch

Council chiefs have insisted that a controversial trial traffic system WILL go ahead - despite a torrent of complaints.

The trial at Catherine Street, in Kirkintilloch town centre, started on Monday (August 11) when carriageways were narrowed, traffic lights deactivated, railings removed and green pedestrian crossing points painted on the road surface.

The controversial junction

The controversial junction

It means that no stream of traffic has formal priority over the other, while pedestrians are given right of way.

The Herald was quickly inundated with complaints from drivers and pedestrians who slammed the scheme as “badly thought out” and “downright dangerous”.

The lights were turned back on first thing on Wednesday (August 13), according to council bosses, “to help pupils, parents and teachers going to school adjust to the temporary arrangements and to allow further amendments to slow traffic and raise awareness”.

They insisted that the continuing trial would be continually monitored and “amendments made where necessary” for the four week planned period.

And a number of these amendments will be made before the lights are deactivated once more at the beginning of next week.

They include increasing the number of ‘rumble strips’, highlighting the crossing points and adding signage to make people aware of pedestrians crossing.

Thomas Glen, the council’s director of development and regeneration, said: “The team acknowledge the concerns raised by members of the public and would emphasise that the safety of pedestrians and all road users is of paramount concern.

“I would also like to stress that this is a trial which is scheduled to last for a period of four weeks only, during which time it is being continually monitored and amended if necessary.

“Feedback from all users is welcomed to allow an informed decision to be made on the future of the junction.”

Mr Glen added, “We have adopted a phased approach through which we will review and amend the junction trial.

“The traffic light switch-off trial will continue from early next week and will be continually monitored by the Kirkintilloch Town Centre Masterplan Team.

“As this is a trial period, it will be continually monitored and amendments made to ensure that the design of the junction meets the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and users of public transport and private vehicles.”

A spokesperson for Sustrans, who are helping fund the scheme, said: “We support the broader plan to regenerate the town centre through the Kirkintilloch Masterplan.

“The Catherine Street Junction Trial, which is taking place as part of the Masterplan, is an ambitious move by the council to trial design concepts before implementation.

“We recognise that good design requires genuine consultation, creativity and a willingness to work closely with communities of all ages and abilities. We are supportive of East Dunbartonshire Council’s approach to the development of the designs for the junction.

“Monitoring work is ongoing and we look forward to reviewing the results and feedback.”

Check out our video above for one person’s opinion of the trial and the aftermath of an accident caught on camera by one of our reporters.