Police act on Newburgh speed fears

A LOCAL councillor has praised Aberdeenshire Council’s roads team and the local police, after they agreed to carry out a series of assessments into the extent of the problem of drivers travelling through Newburgh at excessive speed.

Ellon & District SNP Councillor Rob Merson made his remarks after a meeting took place between the organiser of a petition and council roads and safety engineers, Foveran Community Council Secretary Duncan Milne, and Inspector Steve Pratt of Grampian Police, to discuss the concern of local residents that vehicles were habitually travelling through the village centre at excessive speed.

Petition organiser George Moir, who lost both his son and his brother in separate road accidents some years ago, succeeded in raising 340 signatures in just five days, calling for the installation of traffic calming measures and an enhanced police presence in the town. The petition was presented at the recent Foveran Community Council AGM.

As a result of the meeting, Aberdeenshire Council has agreed to record the volume and speed of traffic passing through the village at a number of points, and to carry out an assessment to see whether the installation of traffic-calming measures or a pedestrian crossing would be justified. Although traffic calming measures would have the effect of reducing speeds through the village, it has been stressed that such a proposition has to be measured against several other road safety factors, and the potential loss of much-needed parking spaces.

Inspector Pratt also gave an undertaking that Grampian Police would undertake a number of radar speed checks in the area, and part of that exercise has already been carried out on several occasions. Aberdeenshire Council’s Road Safety Engineer has also submitted a request for further speed checks to be carried out by the NESCAMP unit.

Speaking afterwards, Inspector Pratt reminded motorists of the dangers of driving at inappropriate speeds.

“All drivers, particularly those of large vehicles, should remember that the speed limit is a legal maximum, and not a ‘recommended’ speed”, he said. “Drivers should always drive at a speed which is suitable for the prevailing road and traffic conditions. In a busy and congested street like Main Street in Newburgh, it will very often be that much lower speeds would be appropriate.”

Petition organiser George Moir said: “My wife and I would dearly love others to avoid experiencing the heartache that we have suffered as a result of the deaths of close family members in road traffic collisions. That is why I decided to take action on behalf of our local community in making their concerns known to the appropriate authorities.”

Cllr. Rob Merson said: “I am extremely grateful to Aberdeenshire Council’s Roads and Safety officers and to the Formartine Local Police Team for their prompt and effective response to my constituents’ concerns. I look forward to hearing the results of their assessment and enforcement exercises with interest.”