West­burn call to arms for safe road cross­ing

Trans­port chiefs de­mand more ev­i­dence road is dan­ger­ous

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

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

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