Concern has been raised over an online survey relating to Kirkintilloch’s divisive shared space project
The questionnaire which forms part of the new public consultation on the town centre road layout, fails to ask specifically about safety issues relating to the shared space.
Campaigners have been protesting against the shared space for the past three years precisely because of safety concerns, particularly with regard to the elderly, visually impaired and disabled people.
Gordon Carmichael, the interim chair of Kirkintilloch Community Council, which is leading and organising the consultation, this week acknowledged to the Herald that one of the questions should have focused on the safety aspect. Mr Carmichael said: “Safety should have been put in.”
But he promised that people would have the chance to put forward their opinions, including safety concerns, at the various drop-in events and public workshops that take place this week.
He said: “People will be given the opportunity to express their safety concerns.”
So far, according to Mr Carmichael, around 400 people have responded to the survey, which he said was wide-ranging about Kirkintilloch town centre, including questions about heritage and housing. There are no specific questions about the new road layout.
Blind campaigner Sandy Taylor, who has been heading the campaign against the shared space, said in a letter to the Herald this week: “This is a pointless exercise and an outrageous waste of public funds, as none of the issues concerning our shambolic town centre will be addressed in this survey”.
The Herald understands the consultation will cost around £12,000.
Mr Taylor added: “All questions relating to the chaotic and dangerous Catherine Street junction will now be the subject of a separate consultation carried out by East Dunbartonshire Council in the coming weeks.
“It is beyond comprehension why this could not be conducted at the same time as the KCC consultation. All other issues concerning this scheme which excludes hundreds of disabled and vulnerable people have been omitted from the questionnaire, such as any reference to the reinstatement of controlled crossings or other safety issues. Pavement parking, now at epidemic proportions, does not merit a mention, nor does pavement clutter or kerb heights”.