Villagers win fight for speed limit at school
Parents and villagers at North Ballachulish are celebrating after their efforts to get the speed limit reduced outside a local primary school finally paid off.
Following two years of campaigning, the decision has been taken to reduce the speed limit outside St Bride’s Primary School from 40mph to 30mph, but villagers have vowed to keep on campaigning to get it lowered further.
Councillor Andrew Baxter, local MSP Kate Forbes and Nether Lochaber Community Council chairman Iain Jenner have all given their support to the community efforts.
Local resident Katie Daynes has been one of the most vocal campaigners – she has lost three cats to traffic on the busy road in recent years.
She told the Lochaber Times: ‘It’s bad enough losing much-loved pets, never mind the thought that a child or an elderly person might get knocked down if something wasn’t done.
‘The campaign to try to get the speed limit reduced started two years ago – it should never have been allowed to have a 40mph zone outside a school in the first place.
‘We didn’t want to have to wait until someone was killed before action was taken. And while we will take the chance to have the limit reduced to 30mph, we will fight on to get it lowered to 20mph.’
Kate Forbes, who joined campaigners last week, had met recently with Ms Daynes and Councillor Baxter to discuss concerns about speeding near St Bride’s Primary School and the speed limit on the B863.
Ms Forbes told us: ‘This a road is in a built-up area that runs past a primary school, nursery and a local play park, and it is particularly hazardous at the sections with no pavement.
‘The continued reports by parents and residents of vehicles speeding has prompted safety concerns in the village.
‘I’m pleased that Highland Council has confirmed that it will reduce the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph, but the local community would still like to see a further reduction to 20mph.
‘There is consensus among elected representatives such as myself and local councillor Andrew Baxter, as well as residents, parents, pupils and the head teacher, on the grounds of road safety.
‘A community consultation also received unanimous support in favour of reducing the speed limit to 20mph.
‘I hope in light of local opinion and the proximity to the school and play park, that council officials will consider reducing the speed limit to 20mph.
‘I’ve also asked the council to ensure the 30mph speed limit can come into effect as quickly as possible.’
Mr Baxter added: ‘This has been a long-term campaign, where I’ve supported local residents to get a reduced speed limit. It seems an historical quirk that this section was set at 40mph, when it goes past a school and a play park; all in an area where there is no pavement.
‘I’m delighted the council has seen sense and confirmed the limit will go down to 30 mph. I want them to move faster though in the planned implementation. This new limit should be a priority.’
MSP Kate Forbes joined local resident Katie Daynes and other protestors to ask for a reduced speed limit outside St Bride’s Primary School.