Village road safety
Sir, I read with interest your excellent lead story (Friday September 28) on reducing the speed limit in Cairndow.
It was with some astonishment I read the comments quoted from Argyll and Bute Council. To say there is no greater risk in Cairndow than on many of the roads in Argyll is no argument for inaction. This is tantamount to saying we will not act because lots of places are unsafe.
Argyll and Bute Council argues there is no need for a 20mph speed limit in the village because, in their survey four years ago, vehicles were recorded as being already below 20mph. Surely this is an argument for lowering the limit not keeping it at 30mph. Average speed of vehicles is a useless measure anyway. Upper quartile speeds will determine risk, not averages where excessive speed is cancelled out by slower drivers and people stopping in the village. The council goes on to say it is watching the progress of the new Restricted Roads (20mph speed limit) (Scotland) Bill. So the council strategy is to watch what someone else is doing when it has the responsibility and power to act now.
Your article ends by asking the fundamental question: is it safe to drive at 30mph through Cairndow? I would not drive through Inveraray at 30mph. It is palpably obvious that the answer to the question is no, it is not safe to drive through the village at 30mph. The officials at Argyll and Bute Council responsible for rejecting this perfectly reasonable request from the community should hang their heads in shame. So much for listening to the people and power to the citizen. Perhaps our elected councillors could inject some reason and local democracy. Using the concept of adding public value should be the determining factor when facing decisions such as this. Argyll and Bute Council is quoted as saying all roads are dangerous, which may be true. However, there are specific dangers in a village with no footway for more than 800 yards. Professor Alan M Boyter, Cairndow.