Council urged to stretch safety measures bit more
Petitioners want speed reduction to be considered
Petitioners who raised concerns over a busy rural junction near Thornhill say they are delighted by new measures to be introduced – but want to see more, including a change in speed limit.
The campaign over the A873 at Burnbank and Coldoch saw locals ask for traffic-calming measures and a review of speed limits to improve the safety of road users.
Members of Stirling Council’s environment, housing and net zero committee agreed earlier this year to defer a decision on the petition for more information after officers said accident data had shown there had been only two slight injury accidents on the section of road in more than a decade.
The A873 is the main distributor road to Thornhill and then joins with the A81 to Port of Menteith and Aberfoyle with routes off it to Doune and Callander. The section of the A873 from its junction with the A84 to the junction of the B8031 Coldoch Road is a rural road subject to the national speed limit of 60mph and just short of one mile long.
There are 20 residential properties on or accessed from this section of the A873 and a further three commercial properties.
The petitioners said while official statistics may only record certain levels of accident, a host of accidents had taken place at the spot including cars hitting telephone poles, and the lack of any serious injury was merely fortunate.
Since that hearing, roads officers have been out to the site and met with the petitioners, agreeing a number of measures.
These included changing some warning signs to encourage motorists to moderate their speed on the approach to the junctions; introducing ‘pedestrian in road’ signage in an area where pupils get on and off school transport; rumble strip style markings; ‘slow’ markings; and junction marker bollards either side of the Coldoch Road junction.
However, they still disagree over a reduction in the speed limit, with the officers assessing the 60mph stretch as being the suitable limit for the road conditions and environment.
At the most recent meeting of the committee, officers, said, however, that they would be continually monitoring the route for any changes in environment or road behaviour which could affect their assessment of the speed limit, which could include the proposed introduction of a new cycle path behind The Smiddy near the road.
Members heard that Scottish Government funding for the cycle route had not yet been confirmed, but if unsuccessful it may be pursued through other avenues.
Roads officers said: “We are aware of the community concerns around traffic speeds. What we have tried to do with the measures is to address the immediate concerns.”
Christine Bauer, who spoke to the committee on behalf of petitoners, said: “We are delighted with the decisions that have been made on the things we asked about in the main. There are one or two things that are still to be discussed.
“There are huge volumes of traffic on that road morning, noon and night whether it be cyclists, lorries, cars or whatever it might be.”
She said the council had to consider extending the 40mph limit which was in place on surrounding roads if it was to fulfil any ambition of encouraging more cyclists to use country roads.
Fellow petitioner Gabriella Ingle said: “All the measures suggested by the council we are very pleased about as we have been asking for suggestions for a long time, but they are on one little part of the road. We are asking for measures from the turning near The Smiddy to Coldach Road.
“I don’t think it’s unreasonable for us to be asking for some kind of calming measures over the entire stretch of the road. Just adding measures to one little part will obviously bring more safety to our children going to school, but this entire stretch of the road need to be addressed.” Committee convener Councillor Jen Preston agreed that the petition should remain open and come back to the committee once the cycle lane was in place, with a brief update also expected to be given in the autumn.