David Stewart

MSP disappointed and dismayed by reply on crossing

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1 November 2017

The Chief Executive of Transport Scotland has dismissed the idea of a crossing in Glenurquhart Road, much to the dismay of Labour MSP David Stewart.

Mr. Stewart, who represents the Highlands and Islands, wrote to Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, asking for him to look at the situation after Transport Scotland rejected the idea of a crossing earlier this year when the MSP asked for its views.

However, Transport Scotland’s CEO, Roy Brannen, has replied that a crossing is not needed.

He told Mr Stewart: “While we appreciate that your constituents have concerns, a review of the injury accident data from 1 January 2014 to 30 May 2017 shows there has been one slight personal injury which occurred from on 7 July 2016. Therefore, we do not believe that there is a road safety issue which could be addressed by the installation of a controlled pedestrian crossing.”

Mr Stewart previously met with B&B owner John Patience, of Montague Row, and Ballifeary mother Helen Smith to discuss the issue.

Both constituents believe the road is unsafe for pedestrians, especially children, the elderly and those with disabilities and believe a crossing is now vital to prevent an accident.

“Since taking up the issue, there have been other constituents contact me to support a crossing on this road so I am very disappointed by this brush off from the agency,” said Mr Stewart.

“It is also disappointing that the Transport Minister himself didn’t take up the matter.

“Transport Scotland has offered a meeting with Scotland’s Strategic Road Safety Team to discuss this further and I will take this up and continue with the push to get a crossing here.”

Mr Stewart also wrote to Police Scotland’s new Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent George MacDonald, who said improvements to road design, layout and engineering was “not a police matter” although police were a primary consultee.

“Results from Transport Scotland and Highland Council studies of the A82 Glenurquhart Road have shown that there is no one location where significant number of pedestrians cross,” said the reply from the Divisional Commander.

He also added that pedestrian islands and road refuges had also been provided.

Mr. Stewart reiterated that stretch of road from the council headquarters to Planefield Road was extremely busy as he witnessed on an early visit with Mr Patience and Ms Smith.

“I would hate for an accident to happen there – we need to listen to local people.”

In March Mr. Stewart wrote to Transport Scotland after Mr Patience highlighted the death of a person crossing at the A82 Kenneth Street/Tomnahurich Street junction.

But Transport Scotland and the police have said road layout was not a contributory factor.