Shared space nearly complete

Photo Emma Mitchell 1.3.17'Bollards along the shared space
Photo Emma Mitchell 1.3.17'Bollards along the shared space

Kirkintilloch town centre is set to reopen to vehicles – 
after more than a year of 
road closures.

Work on the controversial shared space scheme is 
expected to be completed by the beginning of April.

Council boss Thomas Glen told the Herald on Monday that Cowgate will reopen by then to cars and buses.

The depute chief executive added: “There will be small-scale additional works 
during April and May to 
address any issues.”

The news comes after yet another accident at the busy Catherine/Kerr Street junction where pedestrian lights have been removed.

A safety bollard was struck by a vehicle recently and had to be replaced - the fourth time this has happened over the past few months. No one was injured.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “It is disappointing some people are still driving faster than they should at this junction but I have not had an update on the recent incident.

“I did pledge at the recent council meeting to bring back a detailed report on all aspects of the shared space.”

According to Mr Glen, this will not happen until the end of the year.

He said: “It is expected that, after a full and detailed period of monitoring and evaluation, a report will be presented to elected members in late 2017.”

Mr Glen confirmed the latest accident at the junction, and added: “The council has asked consultants Ironside Farrar to check the positions of bollards in that 
area to ensure they are located appropriately.” He added a further 34 bollards are being installed at courtesy crossing areas at Cowgate.

Disabled campaigner Sandy Taylor, who has been leading the protest against the shared space, said on Monday that the 34 bollards would give “little protection to pedestrians”, and proper kerbs would have been “more appropriate”.

He said: “These crossings, which do not appear in the Highway Code, are being ignored by many and pedestrians are stepping on to the carriageway without warning.

“The proposed monitoring of the scheme seems a pointless exercise. Unless it is done independently it will undoubtedly repeat the false claims we have heard before.

“We also demand an Independent Equality Impact Assessment as it is obvious severe safety issues exclude 
elderly and disabled members of our community.”