Controlled crossing is ‘wrong’ priority

The site of the new pedestrian crossing
The site of the new pedestrian crossing

The ‘wrong’ priority. That’s the verdict from many residents over the creation of a new pedestrian crossing at Kirkintilloch town centre.

The controlled crossing - with traffic lights – will be installed at Cowgate, near Timpson, which forms part of the controversial shared space.

It will be created in two phases, with the road closed between its junctions with David Donnelly Place and Union Street from 6am on Wednesday, March 6 to 6pm on Friday, March 8, and from 6am on Monday, March 11 to 6pm on Wednesday, March 13.

But many residents expressed their frustration on the Herald’s Facebook page over the installation of the crossing, saying the busy Catherine Street junction should have been made safe first. Campaigners have been protesting over the scrapping of the traffic lights and crossings there for the past three years, citing safety concerns, particularly for blind and disabled people.

Sandra Vigar posted: “Catherine St needs this!”

Steven Moffat agreed and posted: “How could we possibly have thought they might have put the lights where we wanted at the Catherine Street junction? Catherine Street will be left for another couple of years or till they can find another excuse not to install them.

“Listening, caring, keeping promises are not high on their priority list or they wouldn’t have created a ghost town.”

A spokesperson for the council said it “voted to install a new crossing after a programme of community-led engagement with local people, groups and voluntary sector”.

Meanwhile, Sandy Taylor, who is blind and has headed the campaign against the shared space in the town said: “The re-instatement of this controlled crossing in Kirkintilloch is a welcome realisation by Councillors and Council Officers that the Shared Space Scheme has failed to provide safe and inclusive access to everyone in the town.

“It is therefore hoped that the traffic lights and controlled crossings at the four-way junction at Catherine Street will also be re-instated without further delay”.

Councillor Susan Murray, Vice Convener of Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets, said: “I am pleased work is taking place to create a new controlled crossing at Cowgate, which was highlighted in feedback during engagement on town centre works.

“We are committed to supporting and improving all of our town centres, which play such a vital role at the heart of our communities - as places to shop, work, and access facilities and essential services.”

Council officers said they have been liaising with SPT regarding bus diversions.

There will be alternative delivery arrangements for some traders. Letters are being issued to affected residents and firms.