MSP Backs Need for Crossing in Inverness

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Wednesday September 13 2017

Pictured: David with Helen Smith who back the need for a new road safety crossing.

Labour MSP David Stewart is backing calls for a pedestrian crossing on the A82, near Highland Council’s headquarters and Central Primary School in Inverness.

Mr Stewart, who represents the Highlands and Islands, met with B&B owner John Patience, of Montague Row, and Ballifeary mother Helen Smith this week 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.

Mr Stewart has now written 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.

He has also written to Police Scotland’s new Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent George MacDonald, asking for his comments on the plea.

“The stretch of road from the council headquarters to Planefield Road is extremely busy as I witnessed on a visit with Mr Patience and Ms Smith,” said Mr Stewart.

“People crossing just up from the Tomnahurich Street/Kenneth Street junction are often caught in the middle of the road waiting for traffic to clear in order to cross.

“I’ve also been told that, although there is a lollipop crossing near Planefield Road for children at Central Primary School, often the traffic doesn’t stop quickly when the lollipop person steps into the road and that causes concern.

“Transport Scotland says there are traffic islands along Glenurquhart Road but I don’t think these are adequate.

“I’m hoping the Minister will intervene and ask for a review. I would hate for an accident to happen there.”

Mr Patience said:

"I regularly cross this road and am amazed how dangerous it is as traffic will not give way to allow pedestrians to cross safely.

“You either have to wait for a build-up of traffic which becomes stationary or are dependent on them slowing down to allow you to cross.

“This area is very busy with school pupils, council workers from the nearby council HQ and other local residents.

“It is more luck than anything else that a pedestrian has not been injured trying to cross the road.

“This road is busy at all times as you have regular traffic during the day and also traffic leaving Eden Court Theatre in the evening.

“A pedestrian crossing is required as a matter of priority.

“I thank Mr Stewart for his assistance and hope we achieve a positive outcome with the Scottish Transport Minister."

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.

At the time, the agency said that it had been liaising with the police and understood the road layout was not a contributory factor.

It also said it had carried studies on Glenurquhart Road.

Transport Scotland added:

“While we appreciate the desire to see a signal controlled crossing at this location, these studies highlighted that there is no one location where significant number of pedestrian’s cross, therefore the case for a specific location for a crossing would not be fully justified.”

Mr Stewart said:

“I think the time is right for a review after listening to local concerns.”



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