Cut your speed for our children’s sake

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A community fighting to protect its children from speeding traffic have taken matters into their own hands.

Concerned families and community councillors on Seil say there have been too many near misses with youngsters getting on and off the school bus on the busy road near Balvicar Stores to wait for action from Argyll and Bute Council.

Mum-of-three Nina  Maclean, who is also a community councillor, said: ‘It’s an accident waiting to happen. We’ve already have close shaves with our children. One car actually caught my son’s toes.

‘They say there are not enough houses to reduce the speed limit so the community council has stepped in while Argyll and Bute Council has done nothing at all.

‘We can’t wait for nothing to happen. This was our last option. Rather than do nothing we thought we’d do something.’

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson told The Oban Times that the location had been fully assessed  and there were no plans to make improvements because current arrangements were ‘deemed appropriate’.

‘There have been no recorded accidents at this location. Assessments are made assuming children crossing are accompanied by a responsible adult,’ added the spokesperson.

The community council has now bought two cartoon-style cut-out weighted figures of police officers to put on either side of the bus stop to try to slow drivers down. Shrubs have also been cut back to give a clearer view.

Legally, traffic can travel at 60mph through Balvicar all the way down to the school near Ellenabeich, which is ‘mindless’ say campaigners, who have called on Argyll and Bute Council over the years to cut the 60 mph speed to 40mph or 30mph – but to no avail.

Dad Brian Smith said: ‘It’s a daily occurrence to see cars and vans speeding past at 40mph even when we are stood here with kids in their hi-vis.’

Some rushing vehicles also overtake the bus as children are getting on and off it.

Community councillor Yowann Byghan said: ‘You can’t put a price on a child’s life. Traffic just guns down this road.’

Community councillor Rhoda Thomson added: ‘I hope the cut-out figures will raise awareness in the community and alert drivers who are not local to Seil to slow down and keep our children safe.’

A barrier by the bus-stop to prevent children from stepping out into the road, flashing 20mph signs like the one already near the school and rumble strips are just some of the safety measures campaigners have suggested to the council in the past.