Speed limit be­tween vil­lages ‘un­likely’ to change

The Oban Times - - NEWS - EL­LIE FORBES eforbes@oban­times.co.uk

THE CHAIR­MAN of Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Ach­nacarry com­mu­nity coun­cil has been un­able to per­suade Trans­port Scot­land to re­duce the speed limit be­tween Spean Bridge and Roy Bridge.

Chair­man John Fotheringham and vil­lage res­i­dents met with Ken Aitken of Trans­port Scot­land last Wed­nes­day (Fe­bru­ary 8) to dis­cuss long-stand­ing road safety is­sues on the A86 be­tween Spean Bridge and Roy Bridge.

Mr Fotheringham spoke of res­i­dents’ safety con­cerns fol­low­ing two fa­tal ac­ci­dents two years ago. He said that fol­low­ing a na­tional speed limit re­view of the stretch of road, Trans­port Scot­land had rec­om­mended the speed limit be re­duced to 40mph from 60mph, but noth­ing had been done. Mr Aitken said: ‘We do have a bud­get and we have to tar­get that where ac­ci­dents are al­ready hap­pen­ing.’

Res­i­dents ques­tioned if that means ac­ci­dents have to hap­pen on the road be­fore Trans­port Scot­land steps in, rather than change the speed to pre­vent ac­ci­dents hap­pen­ing.

Mr Aitken re­sponded say­ing that when Trans­port Scot­land does a speed re­view as­sess­ment, the same rules and cri­te­ria are ap­plied across the na­tion. He added that un­less some­thing has sub­stan­tially changed on the road, the speed limit would be un­likely to change. ‘It’s not a case of wait­ing for some­thing to hap­pen, but we have to go where the ac­ci­dents are hap­pen­ing,’ he said.

Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Bade­noch, said: ‘There are too many ac­ci­dents on Highland roads, so any­thing that re­duces the num­ber is very wel­come. This in­cludes re­duc­ing speed lim­its where it is clear there would be a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact. I am al­ways grate­ful to peo­ple for bring­ing lo­cal is­sues to my at­ten­tion. I’ll be writ­ing to Trans­port Scot­land to ask why noth­ing has changed yet and what plans there are. We cer­tainly don’t want to be in a sit­u­a­tion where we’re wait­ing for the next ac­ci­dent for lack of ac­tion.’

Mr Fotheringham also raised con­cerns about de­vel­op­ers try­ing to ex­tend the 30mph speed limit in Spean Bridge to fit with new hous­ing projects. Mr Aitken ex­plained only the plan­ning author­ity could rec­om­mend changes to speed lim­its and that hous­ing de­vel­op­ers did not have any in­flu­ence with Trans­port Scot­land.

We have to go where the ac­ci­dents are hap­pen­ing Ken Aitken Trans­port Scotand

Pho­to­graph: Abright­side Photography.

Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Ach­nacarry chair­man John Fotheringham.

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