Campaign for safer school crossing gets a boost

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Campaigners for a safer school crossing at Benderloch are hoping work on improvements will start soon.

BEAR Scotland has come back with revised drawings for the risk area near Lochnell Primary School and want to hear people’s opinions and comments before they progress.

Proposed improvements include a wider footpath, better paths into the car park and tactile surfaces at the crossing.

Details have been posted on the Keep Our Kids Safe on the A828 Facebook page.

Beth Hadden from the campaign group said: ‘BEAR has asked for comment on the plans and I invite people to please do so so that we can demonstrate strong local support.

‘I hope BEAR Scotland would then proceed swiftly and we can get effective change in place.’

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Parents and concerned villagers have been running a campaign to make the road safer for a long time.

Last year, The Oban Times reported a near-miss when a young boy was saved from being struck by a car – with just an inch to spare.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been among those lobbied for action, along with Transport Scotland, BEAR Scotland, the police, Argyll and Bute Council and Ardchattan Community Council.

Argyll and Bute councillor Elaine Robertson said: ‘This has been a long standing issue which I am delighted has been brought to a successful conclusion.

‘I congratulate Lochnell School Parent Council in working with Transport Scotland and BEAR to address the road safety issues at the school. Special thanks to DJ and Beth Hadden, who have pursued this tirelessly.’

Ardchattan community councillor Willie Barnett added: ‘Ardchattan Community council has been fully behind the excellent campaign run by parents and Parent Teacher Association at Lochnell school. This is an excellent result and will improve safety at this dangerous crossing.’

Mr Barnett is also raising serious concerns about unofficial car parking  by parents who he says are ‘too lazy’ to use the official car park at the village hall.

‘This space, originally for two cars, has been extended to four cars by inconsiderate parents on the Keil Crofts/Tralee Bay Road. This is by far a more dangerous area as it is not in the control of Transport Scotland but Argyll and Bute Council. Cars travelling from Connel Bridge turning in to the Tralee Bay Road cannot see the children until they are right on them.  The risk of an accident is very high. Transport Scotland and Argyll and Bute Council should get together and solve this problem . I will be raising it at the next community council meeting.’