Westburn call to arms for safe road crossing
Transport chiefs demand more evidence road is dangerous
Westburn residents are being asked to lend their voice to a road safety campaign as transport chiefs demand more evidence Westburn Road is dangerous.
Council officers this week told Westburn Youth Project, which launched the campaign earlier this summer, there is little data to suggest a pedestrian crossing is necessary.
Residents were invited to meet transport officers at South Lanarkshire Council last Wednesday, August 10, to relay their concerns.
But Karen Crooks, a mother of two who works at Westburn Youth Project, said the council wanted more input from the community before it would consider adding traffic calming measures to Westburn Road.
“This will need the backing of the whole community if it is to succeed,” Karen said.
“We have to get the whole community together. We need to get more people involved, for them to fill in surveys and provide feedback.
“The more responses we have, the more we have to show the council this is a major issue for everyone.”
Karen said problems crossing the road - where the village shop, school and park is located - arose when new-build homes and the M74 extension were built.
She said the safe crossing installed for families living in new homes in neighbouring Drumsagard failed to recognise the additional traffic going to Drumsagard was first travelling through Westburn.
She added: “They have overlooked Westburn. They didn’t say ‘before we build this we need to make Westburn safer.’
“At the meeting we showed them videos of an elderly pensioner struggling to cross the road and we brought our children along, who told the council officers how it feels to try and cross the road.”
The campaign has won the support of councillor Walter Brogan who chaired the meeting last week.
He said: “The behaviour of road users in Westburn has changed. Many of them no longer cross the road if they can help it and the statistics need to reflect that. It is also true that not everyone reports an accident.
“From a common sense point of view we need a controlled crossing and as far as I am concerned I will keep working on this.
“This isn’t just an issue of speed but volume of traffic. The cycle lanes on the Main Street are sending people down here. This road has been here for 50 years and it needs to be looked at.”
Gordon Mackay, head of roads and transportation at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “Since 2014 we have responded to residents requests for a pedestrian crossing by undertaking various surveys including assessments in 2014 and 2015 to establish whether a controlled crossing would be justified. Both these assessments concluded that the provision of a crossing could not be justified.
“Notwithstanding the above, we are keen to work with the community to understand any issues they have and we have recently met with a number of residents who agreed to provide further information.
“Once this is received the request will be considered further.”
A public meeting will be called in Westburn in the coming weeks and a survey issued to all homes in the village to garner wider support for the crossing.
Protest Young people recently waved banners at motorists on Westburn Road urging them to slow down