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Glenfinnan residents were overjoyed today to learn that bosses at Transport Scotland has agreed to cut the 60mph speed limit on the A830 trunk road near the tiny village’s two world-famous tourist attractions and install a pedestrian crossing.
More than 300,000 tourists flocked to Glenfinnan last year via the A830 to see the iconic viaduct, which starred in the Harry Potter films, as well as the monument honouring fallen Jacobite clansmen.
But because the Glenfinnan monument does not have its own car park, visitors must also walk along and cross the A830 – which currently has a national 60mph limit – to access the historic site.
There have also been safety concerns for local children who must also wait at the side of the busy trunk road for their school bus pick-up.
Along with Glenfinnan Community Council, local MSP Kate Forbes has been pressing the case for a reduction on safety grounds for months.
News of the speed limit reduction and the installation of a controlled pedestrian crossing was confirmed to Ms Forbes in a letter from Transport Scotland earlier this week.
Ms Forbes commented: ‘This is the latest step in making visitor access to Glenfinnan easier, safer and more welcoming.
‘For almost two years, the local community had been developing ideas for car parking and finally secured funding through the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
‘During this time, they have also been campaigning for a lower speed limit at the crossing place to the monument.
‘After a lot of correspondence, a few meetings and continued pressure, I am delighted to see that Transport Scotland has agreed to lower the speed limit.
‘It’s another example of community campaigning and sheer determination paying off.’
Transport Scotland expects the new road speed limit of 40mph to be advertised in May.
The transport authority told Ms Forbes a survey identified the number of people crossing the A830 was sufficient to merit a controlled pedestrian crossing and this meant a 40mph speed limit needed to be introduced to meet design standards for such crossings.
Fiona Gibson, secretary of Glenfinnan Community Council, told us: ‘Glenfinnan Community Council is very pleased that Transport Scotland plan a 40mph speed limit and a controlled pedestrian crossing point on the A830 by the National Trust for Scotland visitor centre.
‘The village receives ever increasing numbers of visitors from all over the world and their safety as well as local road users has been a long standing item on our agenda.’