Pedestrian crossing in Ellon will be replaced

Steps are being taken to replace a vital pedestrian crossing in Ellon following fears for the safety of children walking to school.

By Kirstie Topp, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 8:54 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 8:54 am
Councillor Isobel Davidson, pictured at the crossing, believes  there is a lot of confusion about what the proposals are. (Pic:Kirstie Topp)
Councillor Isobel Davidson, pictured at the crossing, believes there is a lot of confusion about what the proposals are. (Pic:Kirstie Topp)

Parents had raised concerns that the crossing near the former Ellon Academy site on Golf Road would be gone for good and not replaced.

The crossing was recently removed due to construction work currently ongoing at the former Ellon Academy site and a temporary crossing has since been put in place.

Plans to build 40 affordable homes on the site were given the go-ahead by councillors of the Formartine Area Committee in December 2020.

Resident Michelle Walker used the crossing every day to walk her son to and from school and said its removal was “ridiculous”.

She continued: How are the kids supposed to get across the road?

"My son is at the stage where he is thinking about his independence, walking to school himself and it’s just not possible.

"The cars drive so fast along that road so there is absolutely no way. It’s not safe at all.”

She said the temporary crossing is “fine and does its job” but added a permanent replacement was necessary as “hundreds of kids use it”.

Another parent, who did not wish to be named, said the decision to remove the pedestrian crossing was “daft”: “They need something there, the crossing was used all the time and it is a busy road, it’s not safe”.

When discussing the housing development the committee was told that the crossing would be removed however new dropped-kerbs had been proposed to be installed along Golf Road and Schoolhill in its place.

All four Ellon and District councillors met with council officers and police at the temporary crossing on Tuesday, January 25 to discuss the issue.

Committee chair, councillor Isobel Davidson, said: “I think there is a lot of confusion about what the proposals are. The proposals are to have a crossing and we all agree that it has to be a lit crossing.

"A lot of people think that the plan is to take the crossing away altogether but we want a crossing, we’re just having a debate with officers about where it should be and what type of crossing it should be.

“The Formartine Area Committee agreed when planning permission for the new housing development was granted that the crossing needed to be replaced rather than removed.

“Since then, we have agreed with council officers that a temporary crossing needed to be in place while works are being carried out which required the pavement to be closed, this is in place.

"It was clear that some adjustments were needed for the temporary crossing to be effective and these have been completed.”

Council officers had carried out an assessment of use during lockdown to see how many people used the crossing however they are expected to carry out a further survey in the Spring.

The survey results will help the council to select the most suitable crossing.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “We will be conducting a formal review of the crossing facilities on Golf Road over the next few months, and until such time the temporary crossing will remain in place.

"The provision of any permanent crossing facility will be in line with the relevant policy and procedure.”