This page has been set up to allow the local residents to bring up other issues affecting the local area other than the planning issues we now all face.
The first issue is one of a dangerous crossing on the new link road. Please see the following, a letter sent by a concerned resident, any comments on this subject would be good and if you could find the time to contact your council to see if we can get something don't about it.
The Chief Executive
22 Union Street
17th January, 2011
I have spoken to your predecessor, and he asked me to write to outline my considered observations on the dangers to pedestrians created by the new road on the stretch between the Lindsaybeg Roundabout and the viaduct.
Prior to the commencement of road works, the area on and around the new road comprised two separate disused railway lines, converging near the Bothlinn Burn bridge. The lower one came through the viaduct and has now been built over, but the upper one - which is officially recognized as a Right of Way - has been bisected by the new roadway. Pedestrians can, and still do, use this Right of Way to gain access to the cycle and walkway network on the other side of the link road, down the disused line on the North Lanarkshire side towards Moodiesburn.
When plans for the new road were announced we were reassured that a pedestrian crossing would be installed, and everyone assumed that it meant that pedestrians using the Right of Way would be able to cross safely where the new road cut through it.
However, this has proved not to be the case, and it was this matter I discussed with Mr Hamilton.
There are what must amount to miles of fencing erected all around the new roadway, but the footpath in question has no fencing to prevent dogs and children running down from the footpath onto the road. This part of the footpath extends for only about 200 yards, but uniquely it is completely unfenced. Then when people walking on the path reach the point where it crosses the new road there is simply a gap in the barrier fence where a dog or a small child could easily run out onto the road.
A low chicane barrier has been erected here, but it is completely useless, as it does not form any real purpose. What it needs is a sheep-gate attached to a wire mesh fence so that animals or children cannot run out through the gap.
Someone has seen fit to attach a sign to it saying words to the effect of "Caution - fast moving traffic". At this point the sign is no more than six feet from the road, and totally irrelevant.
There is also a small, round sign on a low post at this point, with the symbols of a cycle and a pedestrian on it, indicating a pedestrian crossing. I'm not sure if it is for the benefit of drivers, towards whom it is facing but much too small to read, or for the pedestrians, who are by this time standing on the edge of fast-moving traffic.
At this point the traffic is legally travelling at 60mph, and accelerating downhill from the roundabout. There are signs indicating a 30mph zone ahead, but at the point where the footpath crosses the road traffic is travelling very fast - as acknowledged by the warning sign.
What makes it worse is that there is a long curve on the road to the right of those crossing, which means that pedestrians have to try to watch out for fast-moving traffic coming round the curve from the top of the hill while watching for traffic accelerating up the hill from the viaduct, and then choose a moment when it is safe to cross - and we are talking about pedestrians of all ages, some elderly with walking sticks, people of all ages walking dogs and training puppies and some with push chairs and small children. Horse riders also cross at this point. This footpath is used by residents in a large area of south east Lenzie as a means to recreation.
When I asked why there was no crossing as promised I was told that there was a crossing - at the lights at Woodilee. This is of no use whatever to people walking on the Right of Way, as to access it pedestrians would have to walk for hundreds of yards on the carriageway down the link road and under the viaduct, which is obviously not possible.
It is quite clear that it was, and is, the intention of KI that pedestrians would cross the road at this point, as an area of the footpath sloping down the road has been tarred, an opening made in the barrier and signs put up. Furthermore, we actually received a letter from KI telling us that this is a Right of Way and would be an official footpath. On the other side of the road a short length of pavement has been created for those who do make it to the other side to walk along to rejoin the Right of Way footpath.
Clearly the experts who were advising have got this completely wrong on so many counts and it needs to be revisited and put right before the weather improves and nights get lighter and more people are put in danger.
But this is not the only point where the experts have made a mis-judgement and created a dangerous situation. Another crossing was drawn to my attention by someone who said that she would never use it as it was clearly dangerous. This crossing has been created at the top of the hill on the north west side of the Lindsaybeg roundabout and a short distance from it. Anyone foolhardy enough to cross at this point will be able to join a zig-zag path created to take pedestrians - and, as it is a slope not stairs, presumably wheelchairs - down to the Right of Way from this point. However, on the west side the crossing is only about 20 metres from the point where the drivers of cars coming along Lindsaybeg heading east to join the new road at the roundabout can see anyone on the crossing.
It may be that the experts who advised on the placing of this crossing point were not aware of the dense, sound-proofing fencing that was to be erected, but this same fencing completely obstructs the view of east-travelling drivers of anyone crossing the road, and drivers coming round the corner from Lindsaybeg Road have only two seconds to see someone crossing and stop. To make matters worse, these drivers joining the road to go downhill towards Kirkintilloch will have to give way to traffic coming from the right, and are therefore more likely to be looking right, not looking left watching for someone crossing the road on a crossing from which they have been unsighted and of which they may have been unaware.
A solution would be to build a fenced footpath down the hill on the west side of the north-bound carriageway until it joins the break in the right of way, then have a proper pedestrian crossing at this point to allow pedestrians to stop the traffic and cross in safety.
It would also be necessary to implement the 30mph limit at the Lindsaybeg roundabout where it has been slowed in any case and continue that down the hill, rather than encouraging it to speed up again for a few hundred yards over a pedestrian crossing and then slow down again before approaching the viaduct. In fact, we are astonished to find that the 30mph limit, which was some years ago moved to the east side of the Blacklands Place access, has now been moved hundreds of yards nearer the built up area where traffic calming measures have been introduced. No doubt this is to permit the 60mph limit to apply on the Link Road and its adjacent spurs, but not only does this permit traffic to speed towards the traffic calmed area, it means that traffic turning right into Blacklands Place and having to give way to oncoming traffic will have vehicles approaching at 60mph behind them then having to stop suddenly.
Surely the answer is to implement the 30mph speed limit at the Lindsaybeg Roundabout and continue it into Lenzie on the west, beyond Blacklands Place on the east and to Kirkintilloch on the link road.
When the Link Road was planned we were invited to go to public meetings, encouraged to comment, assured of co-operation, care of the environment and wildlife, and preservation of our amenities. We have co-operated, but we have endured years of upheaval, road construction works, witnessed the destruction of wildlife habitat, the almost total disappearance of bird life due to over-enthusiastic felling of trees and bushes that sustained a wide variety of insects, birds and butterflies. Our leisure environment and that of local wildlife has been destroyed, and we are quietly waiting to see what KI are going to do to restore the environment to nature as promised and give us some of the pleasure we formerly enjoyed of living on the edge of the green belt.
I think a good start would be to restore to us properly the use of our Right of Way without delay - fence off this exposed 200metre or so section adjacent to the open ground beside the road, slow down the traffic racing over the Right of Way crossing point at 60mph, and create a visible and official crossing that we can all use to regain access to the footpath and cycle network and the greenbelt.
I would be happy to walk the route with someone who has the proper authority to investigate our concerns and take early and constructive action, and who will view the dangers that are faced and how relatively simply the omissions could be put right.