TWO incidents at Kirkintilloch’s controversial “shared space” junction in the last week have been followed by calls to return traffic lights to the dangerous crossroads.
MSP Rona Mackay, who has spearheaded campaign to make the Catherine Street junction safe again, has called the situation a “total disaster”.
The Kirkintilloch Herald has reported several accounts of “bedlam” at in the last week at the busy pedestrian and traffic crossroads in the town centre.
Two have been handled by the police, where as it is understood a further smaller incident on Thursday, January 6 occurred but was only shared over social media.
On Saturday, December 31 three cars collided at the junction resulting in substantial damage to vehicles.
On Friday, December 30 a van flattened a safety bollard.
Earlier on December 14, a schoolgirl was injured on the shared space at Alexander Street outside Nonna’s Kitchen.
Local press and social media users have reported on chaos at the busy junction this week.
Ms Mackay, the MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said: “These incidents in such a short space of time at the shared space junction in Kirkintilloch should be a major wake up call about the safety of our pedestrians and motorists.
“The shared space scheme has been a total disaster – I again urge the Labour-Tory led East Dunbartonshire Council to return traffic lights and safe crossing points to this very busy junction.
“The safety of our residents is paramount and I cannot believe this situation has been allowed to continue for so long. It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.”
— Rona Mackay MSP (@RonaMackayMSP) January 9, 2017
Despite months worth of warnings from campaigners, including visually-impaired activist Sandy Taylor, East Dunbartonshire Council’s leader, Rhondda Geekie, has refused to reinstate safety measures to the pedestrian crossings.
Visually impaired residents have expressed fear of crossing the zones – with even guide dogs struggling to navigate the crossing due to the lack of distinction between roads.
Last autumn, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf stepped into the debate and insisted the shared space scheme in the town must be inclusive to all residents.