MSP: ‘We still have to keep up pressure’ over shared space in Kirkintilloch

MSP Rona Mackay at the shared space junction at Catherine St/Kerr St in Kirkintilloch
MSP Rona Mackay at the shared space junction at Catherine St/Kerr St in Kirkintilloch

Strathkelvin MSP Rona Mackay said today she is looking forward to the “disastrous” shared space project at Kirkintilloch being sorted to ensure the needs of all her constituents are taken into consideration.

Ms Mackay wants to meet with East Dunbartonshire Council’s Depute Chief Executive Thomas Glen regarding consultation with vulnerable groups.

Earlier in the week, council leader Rhondda Geekie admitted live on BBC Scotland that the controversial shared space initiative, which takes in the Catherine Street junction, has failed.

Ms Mackay told the Herald: “I am glad the council leader and I are finally on the same page when it comes to this shared space shambles in Kirkintilloch town centre.

“I would like to thank all of those who spoke out against this, and Liz Gallacher at the Kirkintilloch Herald for excellent and impartial coverage. Though we still have to keep up the pressure.”

“I have written to Depute Chief Executive Thomas Glen, asking how and when we can go about consulting in detail with vulnerable groups over what they would like to see implemented to places like Catherine Street.

“I’m looking forward to this disastrous vanity project by our Labour-led council being sorted out to ensure the needs of all of my constituents are taken into consideration.”

On the radio discussion programme, Councillor Geekie told presenter John Beattie that East Dunbartonshire Council can reverse the controversial changes after saying she is “disappointed it’s not worked in Kirkintilloch”.

Ms Mackay, who was also on the BBC show, said she welcomed the statement from Councillor Geekie and has written to Mr Glen to ask how and when the process can be started and when arrangements will be made to consult with residents and vulnerable groups on safety changes.

On the show, the lcoal MSP outlined the problems at the junction, such as vulnerable constituents being effectively excluded from the town, and how drivers and pedestrians are left confused as to who has the right of way.

Police have dealt with several accidents at the junction, and there have been social media reports of drivers in minor collisions and episodes causing chaos.

Campaigner Sandy Taylor spoke on BBC Radio Scotland shortly after Ms Mackay and Cllr Geekie about safety problems facing disable and elderly people due to the lack of traffic lights

Rona added: “I applaud the tenacity Sandy has shown to help our community.”

In a previous story, we revealed environment group Sustrans, who funded half of the £3.1 million shared space scheme, have now accepted traffic lights and controlled crossings can form part of shared spaces, after discussion with Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.