Kintore traffic calming options refused

An Aberdeenshire councillor has said he is “utterly dismayed” that no new traffic calming measures will be introduced in a busy north-east town despite ongoing concerns over speeding.

By Kirstie Topp, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 6:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 6:52 am
No new traffic calming measures will be introduced in Kintore
No new traffic calming measures will be introduced in Kintore

Members of the Garioch Area Committee had seven options to consider that would address the issue at School Road in Kintore this week.

However none of them were chosen.

Options made available to the committee included a permanent 20mph speed limit, new speed bumps, raised crossings and new junction layouts.

The matter had initially been raised in 2019 by ward councillors at the time – Martin Ford, Fergus Hood and Glen Reid – following concerns about the safety of school pupils.

Councillor Reid had said that a traffic speed analysis showed “horrendous” speeding with a large number of motorists driving over the temporary 20mph limit.

The temporary limit is in place at the beginning and end of the school day as well as lunchtimes to ensure motorists slow down while pupils make their way to and from Kintore School.

Prior to the meeting Kintore residents had backed the mandatory 20mph limit and plans to install speed bumps.

At Tuesday’s meeting councillor Reid moved a motion to press ahead with option 2 that would have seen speed bumps placed along School Road.

He said: “I do not agree that changing this to a permanent 20mph zone would be enough to change the behaviours of drivers.

"We already have a situation where it is a part-time 20mph zone for three times in the day and for those three times there is speeding there.

“We have a huge speeding problem here.

"We’ve had this problem for at least two and a half years since we’ve been trying to do something about this.

"I don’t believe changing it to a 20mph zone or doing nothing are valid options.

“We have a history of near misses here and in all good conscience we cannot do nothing.”

Councillor Martin Ford suggested an amendment to go with options 2 and 7 that would have seen a 20mph limit added alongside the speed bumps however he received no support from his fellow councillors.

An alternative amendment was then moved by councillor Lesley Berry who suggested that the council “keep the status quo” and the road remain as it is until the Scottish Government reveals its legislation regarding blanket 20mph limits in towns across the country.

The national strategy for 20mph zones is expected to come into force by 2025.

She explained: “It is contary to Aberdeenshire policy, the problems exist outside every school across Aberdeenshire.

"I think Kintore are very well served with the existing traffic calming measures.

"They’ve got speeding lights, pavements, straight access roads, they’ve also got a crossing.”

Following a vote the amendment to do nothing received nine votes to six for the motion.

After the meeting councillor Reid said he was “utterly dismayed” at the outcome.

He added: “I know that many in the community wanted safer roads”.