Playing politics with Kirkintilloch’s shared space scheme?

Pedestrians cross at the Catherine Street shared space junction
Pedestrians cross at the Catherine Street shared space junction

Councillors have been accused of using Kirkintilloch’s shared space scheme as a way to “score political points”.

Disabled campaigner Sandy Taylor hit out after a stormy meeting of East Dunbartonshire Council last Tuesday (June 13) where it was unanimously agreed to ask council officers to report back on the prospect of reinstating traffic lights at Catherine Street.

A motion tabled by council leader Gordan Low to have the matter addressed “as a matter of urgency” was successfully amended by Lib Dem councillor Susan Murray who wants further consultation with the public prior to any decision.

No further action will now be taken until a report is presented in September.

Councillor Murray defended her stance saying: “It has taken some time to get to this stage and a quick fix will neither be possible nor desirable.

“We must get this right to make the town centre work better for vehicles, pedestrians and disabled people, including those who are visually impaired.

“By the very nature of such a project, whatever action is taken may not please everyone, but we will do our best to listen and to take account of all viewpoints before proposing the next step forward.”

But Sandy Taylor called the amendment “reprehensible”, adding: “The motion by the SNP Administration appeared to be straightforward, however councillor Susan Murray called for lengthy consultations over the proposal to reinstate the traffic lights at the Catherine Street junction.

“Councillor Murray aided by her Lib Dem leader Vaughan Moody was out to score political points, as her strategy and political manoeuvring was designed to stall any progress on reinstating traffic lights and controlled crossings until the current fragile administration fails, then she and her Lib Dem Party will claim credit for doing what the vast number of the people of Kirkintilloch are demanding now, without further delay.”