An MSP is calling on East Dunbartonshire Council to do a U-turn on the removal of traffic lights as part of a controversial shared space scheme.
Fiona McLeod, the SNP’s MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, says the project for Kirkintilloch town centre flies in the face of the council’s own policy to support people suffering from dementia.
She said she fears for the safety of her constituents and is asking the council to think again about the removal of the lights at the busy Catherine Street junction.
Her call comes as disabled campaigners against the scheme, prepare to head to Holyrood on International Disability Day, Thursday, December 3, to hand over a petition to Scottish Parliament.
Ms McLeod, who recently raised the concerns of protestors in parliament, said on Monday: “East Dunbartonshire Council pride themselves on their proactive ‘Dementia Awareness’ strategy for the area, and even strive to have the first dementia friendly town.
“How then, can they alienate the town’s disabled and elderly residents and visitors by taking away traffic lights which are a tried, tested and safe means to make your way across a very busy junction?
“People living with dementia in particular need social interaction as isolation can be detrimental to their health.
“So I am most concerned that such radical change to a dangerous junction could put someone off going to medical appointments in the town centre, or even to go shopping.
“This would be a retrograde step for the person’s independence but flies in the face of the council’s own dementia policy – very disappointing. “
She added: “I am very concerned for my constituent’s safety and would call on the council to reconsider the removal of the traffic lights at Catherine Street. In particular I’d ask them to think again on behalf of the many visually impaired, disabled, elderly and people living with dementia in our community. What’s the point of training, police, fire, council staff, the staff at the Puffer, as well as councillors and more to be ‘Dementia Aware’ if you then close down Kirky town centre to people who are living with it?”