Coming or not? Safety campaigners wait for reply

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Campaigners organising a critical meeting with road agencies are furious they are still waiting to hear if Transport Scotland will be attending.

Last month The Oban Times reported  a near-miss  between a four-year-old boy and a car outside Lochnell Primary School at Benderloch.

The incident stepped up a campaign spanning 15 years to get motorists to slow down.

So far, about 300 people have responded to an online survey about how the road could be made safer and a huge amount of feedback has come from motorists. All the data from the web survey at tinyurl.com/lochnell will be passed on at the meeting on October 25 with relevant authorities, including police and councillors.

BEAR Scotland will be attending that meeting but there is still no confirmation from Transport Scotland that it will be sending its own official, Ardchattan Community Council heard at its meeting on Thursday.

Community councillor Willie Barnett, who said he would be inviting MSP Michael Russell to be there, blasted Transport Scotland for not responding yet and for not taking any action sooner to keep children safe.

‘Traffic Scotland needs to be hauled over the coals for this,’ said Mr Barnett. ‘These people in authority are not taking this seriously.’

Vice-chairwoman of Lochnell school’s parent council and co-organiser of the safer crossing campaign Beth Davies said: ‘They did a survey one year ago, which showed people were speeding but they’re just sitting on it.’

Community councillor Breege Smyth asked Argyll and Bute councillors at last week’s meeting: ‘Is there any way the council can fund the money to put a lollipop person in place until we get this sorted?’

Councillor Elaine Robertson said it would be ‘very unlikely’ but added: ‘We can take it back to them. We will be surprised but happy if any money is released.’

Councillor Kieron Green said: ‘The executive director is aware there’s a desire in the community for there to be a lollipop person but it’s not something that’s on the radar.’

The suggestion of a lollipop person will now be put on the agenda for the  October meeting although some campaigners are concerned it would only be a temporary solution to a problem needing a permanent fix.

Representatives from Barcaldine Primary School’s parent council, who are worried about their own children’s crossing safety, are also to be invited to attend the meeting.

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