Full-time closure for ‘rat run’

5.7.12 Photograph Jamie Forbes. KIRKINTILLOCH. Traffic chaos on Loch Road.
5.7.12 Photograph Jamie Forbes. KIRKINTILLOCH. Traffic chaos on Loch Road.

Council bosses have agreed to permanently ban cars from a busy residential street in Kirkintilloch after a controversial experiment.

Last spring East Dunbartonshire Council began is experimental ban on all vehicles apart from pedal bikes on the section between Bothlynn Avenue and Woodilee Road.

Survey results showed traffic levels on other stretches of Loch Road dropped by 85 per cent and speeds also reduced.

However, other residential roads, such as Kirksyde Avenue, saw traffic doubling at peak times.

Last week councillors agreed to approve plans for the permanent road closure.

A report to councillors said: “It is therefore considered that the experimental prohibition of driving restriction has been successful in significantly reducing through traffic in the Loch Road area of Kirkintilloch.”

No objections were received during public consultation. The road was targeted for the restriction after local residents complained about the volume of cars using it – a residential street – as an alternative to the busier main routes through town, coupled with congestion from parked cars.

However, other campaigners felt the road should be kept open to all car users.

Grace Irvine, director of neighbourhood services said: “We introduced an experimental road closure on Loch Road from March 2014. This was between Bothlyn Avenue and Woodilee Road, Kirkintilloch.

“The restriction has been a success in reducing the through traffic in the Loch Road area and at the Neighbourhood Services committee meeting of May 21 approval was given to progress the proposal and we will now advertise this to gauge local opinion.”

Speaking on Facebook reader Derek Speirs said: “It’s a piece of nonsense the traffic has to go somewhere that’s what roads are for.”

Lindsay Aird said: “The reason for Loch Road being closed was due to it being used as a “rat run” but they have replaced one with another; the middle section of Kirksyde Ave is a disgrace. Having two young kids who are at the age of wanting to be able to play in the street safety is a concern.”

Robert McFadden added: “That’s great news for the residents of Back O’Loch. There has been significant reduction in noticeable traffic on Loch Road, Bothlyn Avenue etc.

“I don’t think it’s too clever to use residential areas as shortcuts. I’ll bet there’s little more than one person in every car and half the buses are empty.”

Des Hughes said: “We all knew the outcome anyway. EDC don’t listen to any kind of reason. Now people are just use the Woodilee housing development road instead.

“Perhaps traffic calming measures instead of closing off a street would’ve been a more sensible option.”