LERWICK’S latest roundabout came under criticism by councillors this week, concerned its design and layout could prove a hazard to safety.
Members of the infrastructure committee heard the new roundabout linking Oversund Road with South Road, which opened earlier this year following a lengthy and protracted period of construction, was being used by pedestrians who thought the red cobbled area circulating the centre was for walking on.
A safety report has been ordered into the roundabout, situated close to Sound Primary School, for the next meeting of the committee.
The roundabout is more than just potentially dangerous, however. It is over budget as well.
A report before councillors heard the project was expected to be £51,000 over the £620,000 budget, thanks to delays in getting work started last winter.
Environmental improvements for the area have been delayed, with some of the work, such as planting, expected to slip into the next financial year.
North Isles councillor Josie Simpson said he was “not happy” with the roundabout, while Lerwick South member Jonathan Wills said drivers didn’t slow down enough before coming on to it.
However, Shetland South councillor Jim Budge said he had been concerned by the sight of two children playing on the red cobble pieces as if it was a pavement.
Shetland Central member Betty Fullerton said she had seen a mother with her two children using the red stones as a pavement.
Another Lerwick South member, Cecil Smith, said the roundabout was very tight for large vehicles coming on to it. He had seen cars driving straight over the red stones, rather than going round them.
Fellow member Jim Henry said it should have traffic lights on it, similar to roundabouts down south.
Chairman Allan Wishart said these were “serious issues” and called for the safety report, “because pedestrians will innocently use that area as a pavement”.
Chief Inspector Malcolm Bell said: “We are aware of some of the concerns that have been raised, but to date we have not had any complaints from road users in respect of this roundabout.”