Vil­lagers win fight for speed limit at school

The Oban Times - - LOCHABER TIMES & OBAN TIMES - By Mark En­twistle men­[email protected]­

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.’

Pho­to­graph: Iain Fer­gu­son, alba.pho­tos

MSP Kate Forbes joined lo­cal res­i­dent Katie Daynes and other pro­tes­tors to ask for a re­duced speed limit out­side St Bride’s Pri­mary School.

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