Speed plan

Cut­ting speed on 64 roads

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

The speed limit on all roads in Fern­hill, High Burn­side and Blair­beth could be cut, the Re­former can re­veal.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil want to bring in a con­sol­i­da­tion or­der that would make it an of­fence for cars to drive over 20mph.

The speed limit on all roads in Fern­hill, High Burn­side and Blair­beth could be cut, the Re­former can re­veal.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil want to bring in a con­sol­i­da­tion or­der that would make it an of­fence for cars to drive over 20mph.

Sixty-four roads could be af­fected if the plan goes ahead, with only the Cathkin Re­lief Road stay­ing at 30mph.

They in­clude Fern­hill Road, which cam­paign­ers have long said presents a dan­ger.

Head of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s roads and trans­porta­tion ser­vices, Gor­don Mackay, said: “As part of the Cathkin Re­lief Road project a num­ber of com­ple­men­tary works have been con­sid­ered and one of these pro­poses 20mph speed lim­its on var­i­ous res­i­den­tial streets in the High Burn­side and Fern­hill ar­eas.

“The statu­tory process to pro­mote a traf­fic reg­u­la­tion or­der has be­gun and it is an­tic­i­pated that it will be for­mally ad­ver­tised in the Ruther­glen Re­former later this month.

“Should the process be com­pleted with no ob­jec­tions be­ing raised then the or­der will be pro­moted and sign­ing in place later this fi­nan­cial year.

“These mea­sures are ob­vi­ously in­tended to re­duce ve­hi­cle speeds in res­i­den­tial ar­eas and thus im­prove road safety.”

The is­sue was dis­cussed at a meet­ing of Ruther­glen Com­mu­nity Coun­cil last Tues­day.

Coun­cil­lor Robert Brown said the move could see driv­ers think more about their speed.

But he added: “The prob­lem is go­ing to be one of en­force­ment. “The idea that you are go­ing to have po­lice of­fi­cers en­forc­ing it is not go­ing to hap­pen. “This is a mat­ter of chang­ing habits.” Other con­cerns were raised about the west­ern part of Fern­hill Road which is sharply down­hill.

And Davy O’Neil, a com­mu­nity campaigner in Fern­hill, told the Re­former he was scep­ti­cal on whether the move would make the area safer.

He said: “How are they go­ing to im­ple­ment this? You just need to stand at the by-pass and you’ll see peo­ple break­ing the speed limit.

“In the­ory it’s a good idea. If you shave 10mph off some­one’s speed it can save a life but you al­ready have peo­ple go­ing more than 30 on the re­lief road and by­pass and the limit doesn’t bother them.

“I have said for years a more ef­fec­tive mea­sure would be traf­fic lights on Fern­hill Road.”

This is a mat­ter of chang­ing habits Cllr Robert Brown

The Cathkin Re­lief Road has not eased con­ges­tion in the area ac­cord­ing to the man who led op­po­si­tion to the con­tro­ver­sial project.

Alan McLen­nan wit­nessed ma­jor con­ges­tion on the road last Wed­nes­day, May 10, with cars backed up for most of the route.

He even spot­ted cars per­form­ing turns in the road to try a dif­fer­ent route.

The coun­cil say the is­sue was caused by a fault at the junc­tion of Blair­beth Road and Croft­foot Road and was an “iso­lated in­ci­dent”.

But Alan in­sists the route has not de­liv­ered on its aims.

He said: “The re­lief road is not re­liev­ing traf­fic in the area.

“All it is do­ing is in­creas­ing the traf­fic on Mill Street which now reg­u­larly backs up to the Croft­foot Road/Blair­beth Road junc­tion. The large in­crease in stand­ing traf­fic is in­creas­ing air pol­lu­tion in Ruther­glen, not re­duc­ing it, as was stated by South La­nark­shire Coun­cil in their jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for spend­ing £18.3 mil­lion of pub­lic money.

“The res­i­dents of Blair­beth, Cathkin, Fern­hill and High Burn­side were ig­nored by the coun­cil and the stated aims of this road are now be­ing exposed, one by one, as false.

“Per­haps the new ad­min­is­tra­tion will lis­ten more to res­i­dents be­fore im­ple­ment­ing un­wanted, ex­pen­sive, grandiose projects which do not ac­tu­ally ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity.”

The road, which was first sug­gested over 50 years ago, opened in Fe­bru­ary this year. The project sparked mas­sive op­po­si­tion from those along the route.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s head of roads and trans­porta­tion ser­vices, Gor­don Mackay, said: “Due to an in­ter­mit­tent fault with the traf­fic sig­nals at the re­lief road/ Blair­beth Road/Croft­foot Road junc­tion the control sys­tem was off­line last Wed­nes­day morn­ing. This un­for­tu­nately cre­ated con­ges­tion. The fault has been iden­ti­fied and ad­dressed.

“In the three months since Cathkin Re­lief Road opened we have seen a grad­ual in­crease in traf­fic flow from around 5,000 to ap­prox­i­mately 7,800 vehicles per day. Con­versely traf­fic ap­pears to be re­duc­ing on ad­ja­cent routes; how­ever, this is more dif­fi­cult to quan­tify as road works in the area con­tinue to in­flu­ence traf­fic flows.

“We have mon­i­tored the road since it opened, and will con­tinue to do so, but are con­fi­dent that Wed­nes­day’s con­ges­tion was an iso­lated in­ci­dent.”

Road rage A car turns to avoid con­ges­tion on the Cathkin Re­lief Road

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