Safety lights CAN go back now

The Catherine Street junction
The Catherine Street junction

The leader of East Dunbartonshire Council has pledged to put people ahead of money 
as the controversy over Kirkintilloch’s shared space project refuses to go away.

Councillor Gordan Low (SNP) this week dismissed a claim by Kirkintilloch East Councillor Susan Murray (LibDem) that safety lights cannot be put back at the busy Catherine Street junction at Cowgate for at least a year.

According to Councillor Murray, the council risks “uncontrolled costs” if work is carried out before June 2018 as it would be during the contract’s snagging period.

But Councillor Low said this week: “I’m very surprised at the suggestion being made by Councillor Murray.

“This is not the case. There is no reason why this has to wait until next June.”

Councillor Low said he has spoken at length to council 
officers about the issue.

He added: “There is nothing to prevent work being carried out by Rainton contractors during the snagging period”.

He said he was anxious to have the safety lights put back as soon as possible at the junction, which has been the scene of a number of accidents since the shared space was introduced more than a year ago.

Councillor Low added: “The firm priority of the new SNP administration is to make that junction safe.

“This administration will certainly not be putting money before people.”

At a council meeting last month, councillors unanimously agreed to ask council officers to report back on the prospect of reinstating traffic lights at Catherine Street.

But a motion tabled by Councillor Low to have the matter addressed “as a matter of urgency” was successfully amended by Councillor 
Murray who wants further consultation with the public prior to any decision.

At the meeting, the SNP minority administration insisted the public feeling was clear and the lights should be reinstated.

Thousands of local people have petitioned the council against the new road layout and demanding safety lights be put back.

There was further anger last week after Lenzie man William Currie (59) was injured when he was struck by a car at a courtesy crossing at Cowgate.

Council chiefs have also admitted they don’t know when safety bollards, missing from Catherine Street junction for over a week, will be replaced.