26th March 2017

No need whatsoever (Geoff McCarron)

I write in reference to the ongoing plans for the so-called traffic calming measures taking place from the bottom of Church Road to the Viking Bus Station in Lerwick, as reported in this newspaper (3rd March).

To my mind, this is totally inappropriate; there is no need whatsoever to install these speed bumps and raised pelican crossing. The quoted five accidents in two and a half years can hardly be classed as mayhem, and I would like to know exactly what the criteria is for stating that “the accident rate was more than twice the Scottish average for such a road”.

Given that this is probably the busiest stretch of road in Shetland, I have not, since I started driving almost 40 years ago, witnessed one single incident. It seems to myself that the grants from Sustrans and the Scottish government were too good to pass up, therefore they had better do something with them.

The fact that this has not been properly thought out is blatantly obvious. Take the proposed raised pelican crossing at the bottom of Church Road. In four months time the new school will open at Clickimin, so after that, no longer will all those school kids be walking along Commercial Street at lunchtime in search of chips and burgers.

They were the ones who used the crossing the most, so this new and expensive crossing will be the least used at any time. Not much forethought gone into that one.

Perhaps the problem really belongs to those pedestrians who jaywalk and who do not know how to use the crossings properly? Education again is the way to go, not sticking great big ramps in the road, which probably will encourage some of the young ones to race between the bumps.

Finally, in these times of cuts when the council is cutting funding to children and old folk, this type of unnecessary spending cannot be defended.

Geoff McCarron
Lindisfarne,
Setter,
Sandwick.

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