Safe crossing call for Pennyfuir

Pennyfuir Cemetery near Oban.

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Funeral-goers dodging speeding cars near Pennyfuir Cemetery need a crossing over the A85 to stay safe.

So says Oban resident George Berry, who is calling on Transport Scotland to replace the current flashing warning signs with a traffic light crossing.

Mr Berry says he had to step into the trunk road to stop traffic at a recent funeral attended by about 100 people.

‘There was about 100 people there, all needing to cross from the car park to the cemetery. They were dodging with cars. There were cars doing 60 to 70mph.

‘The flashing lights are not good enough. Drivers will not slow down for them. The only thing to stop them is if a light turns red. It needs a proper pedestrian crossing there.

‘People go to Pennyfuir to show their last respects, they don’t want to be the ones receiving them,’ he said.

And he added: ‘Sometimes people get too familiar with roads they know. I’m asking them to acknowledge and accept where the cemetery is and that there might be people trying to cross for a funeral or to visit loved ones’ graves. To those behind steering wheels who I’ve watched totally and blatently ignoring people waiting to cross to Pennyfuir, I’d say calm it down, slow it down and stop driving like someone possessed. Show respect.’

Oban councillor Elaine Robertson said safety is all important and that there had been efforts for many years to get Transport Scotland to reduce the speed limit all the way from Oban to Dunbeg from 60mph to 40mph but it had consistently been turned down by the national transport agency.

A spokesperson for BEAR Scotland said its road safety team reviewed the current uncontrolled crossing point at Pennyfuir earlier this year to establish if an alternative location with better visibility could be found.

But added: ‘The review concluded that, due to Pennyfuir Cemetery being situated on the inside of a bend with the public car park situated on the opposite side of the A85, no safer alternative crossing location was available.

‘Our teams also looked at the possibility of installing a traffic signal-controlled crossing, however this would not be feasible at this location due to the alignment of the road restricting adequate forward visibility for road users.

‘Road safety remains a top priority for BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland and our teams previously carried out upgrades to signage at this location and we would encourage road users to slow down when the flashing warning signs are activated.’