Concern for children’s safety (Christine Sinclair)

As a resident of Lerwick’s Gilbertson Road I have big concerns over children’s safety. The speed and carelessness of road users is causing great concern.

Myself, family and neighbours have on various occasions (almost daily) witnessed speeding drivers. Gilbertson Road is a very busy area, Bell’s Brae School being the main example. Gilbertson Road and Hayfield Park attract lots of attention from children of all ages.

The problem has been identified before and speed restrictions were set in place which included a bend in the main road to force drivers to slow down. However, this is not the case, in fact it seems to have encouraged more speeding drivers.

More and more families with young children are moving into the area. I have concerns about my grandsons walking to and from school which is only a five-minute walk but most days their mother picks them up because she is concerned about their safety.

Other areas in Lerwick have more sensible measures in place. At Sound Primary School and roads connected to Sandveien, Nederdale and around the Sound area have speed bumps in place.

Speed bumps would be the best for the safety of children attending school and using the parks and areas along the full length of Gilbertson Road. Also with the new Anderson High School being built I would expect Gilbertson Road to be getting busier with traffic and more children.

We have contacted our local councillor who has been extremely helpful but have had no luck so far in bringing these changes about. Our local MSP Tavish Scott is aware of this upsetting issue and has sent emails to try to back me up with no avail.

The relevant department said because there have been no accidents reported in the last five years, where someone has been physically hurt, they have no concerns about our children’s safety. So do they expect us to wait for a fatal accident before something is done about it?

I have decided to go public with my concerns in the hope the council may intervene before a tragic accident. Our children’s safety is our only concern. New housing schemes have speedbumps so why not Old Gilbertson Road?

Christine Sinclair
Gilbertson Road,


Add Your Comment
  • clare green

    • May 25th, 2016 17:04

    I moved to Irvine last year, after living on Shetland for 16 years, over that time I also raised concerns – as
    an ADULT pedestrian over drivers behaving outrageously when it came to consideration to those of us on foot, particularly in Lerwick, reporting near misses, to this very paper and the police to no avail, and as Christine Sinclair has said Gilbertson road isn’t just busy – I can tell you its downright dangerous, motorists often not indicating that they are turning into this road. no- it isn’t that incidents have not been reported, its just that the council and the police seem to be afraid of tackling this problem – why are they so afraid of upsetting motorists who don’t follow the rules? Just because there have been no fatalities in Shetland for a long while – very fortunately does not mean this won’t happen, As someone who lost a life long friend in a hit and run incident – albeit not in Shetland but in London, I can tell you that is very upsetting and distressing indeed, Drivers you have been warned.

  • David Spence

    • May 26th, 2016 11:46

    I believe when the Hayfield House was being refurbished as offices, and as the the proposed New Council Headquarters in 1986/87, there were concerns regarding the number of car movements in proportion to the higher risk of an accident occurring if the the building works went ahead, and the new Council Headquarters was established.

    It was also proposed that the top of Hayfield Lane was to be blocked off, thus forcing traffic to take the south lochside road as access to Hayfield Lane, as a means of reducing the risk of somebody being killed or injured due to the higher concentration of traffic there would be due to the new Council Headquarters.

    However, I believe the Planning Department rejected the proposed plans on the grounds of safety as well as tenants of Hayfield Lane complaining it would obstruct their view?????

    May be somebody can shed further light on this????

  • Alvin Leong

    • May 27th, 2016 9:08

    Just install speed bumps every 10 meters on every road east of the Tesco and Co-op roundabouts and reduce the speed limits on these roads to 20mph. Problem solved.

    • john ridland

      • May 27th, 2016 18:15

      Pity to ruin the roads for the minority of good drivers ,Just because the majority are to selfish and / or stupid to behave…!!!!

      • Jolene Tindall

        • May 28th, 2016 10:12

        If people had driven with more responsibility and general sense then things would not have come to this. I don’t think it is ruining the roads, just making them more sensible and safe.

      • Alvin Leong

        • May 30th, 2016 9:55

        Problem is Gilbertson Road is 30mph reducing only to 20mph in the section between Hayfield Lane and South Road. However, it does not matter as there will always be moaners complaining that they “feel” that people are going “too fast” even if the speed limit was not broken. There were similar complaints and proposal for speed bumps on Commercial Road/Street and the Esplanade as well even though traffic on those roads are already going too slow.

        Bearing in mind that there had been NO death or injuries on Gilbertson Road in the past 5 years speaks for itself pretty much and yet the writer is demanding for speed bumps in the name of “prevention”. So to be fair, the rest of the town should have such “prevention” too in order not to be disadvantaged, or did the writer think that Gilbertson Road is a special case because she lives on it?

        30 or 20 limit, I always drive to these limits in town, because in the message in the TV ad is that it is OK to drive into a child at those speed. I would love to test it out on the kids of the maker of those ads.

      • Jolene Tindall

        • May 30th, 2016 23:23

        I think you miss the point the “writer” is making. It’s not because she lives on Gilbertson Road. It’s the fact sound school and surrounding areas, new housing schemes and even the lerwick marina has road bumps and yet Gilbertson is left with no prevention other as a 20mph limit some people don’t stick to and a stupid bend in the road that makes drivers go faster. I have sit in Gilbertson Road and watched (whilst drinking a cup of tea) several cars speeding and most certainly going over the 30mph speed limit.
        I do not wish to argue, I understand people are entitled to their own opinions and I respect what you say but my heart lies with the writers comments and from what I have seen with my own two eyes.

  • Haydn Gear

    • May 29th, 2016 10:17

    Not quite sure what to make of John Ridland’s comment. From what he he said , it appears that most drivers perform badly whilst only a minority are safe. If what he says is true then there is a need for many more speed humps on Shetland, not just in Lerwick. Dangerous, inexperienced and yobbish drivers ( usually young men still wet behind the ears) tend to feel a need to impress and even roads in built up areas morph into race tracks. There’s only one way to stop them, apart from prosecuting them, and that’s to make driving uncomfortable for them just as they do to other people. Those with stupidly lowered suspensions would not enjoy having their exhausts ripped off , so in my view SPEED HUMPS to the rescue!! I suspect and hope that John Ridland meant to say that most drivers are good and the minority are not.


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