Council leader admits shared space has not worked in Kirkintilloch

The remainder of the roadworks between Catherine Street and the William Patrick Library, as part of the shared space layout, must be completed.
The remainder of the roadworks between Catherine Street and the William Patrick Library, as part of the shared space layout, must be completed.

East Dunbartonshire Council leader Rhondda Geekie admitted live on radio today that the controversial shared space at Kirkintilloch has been a failure.

And she added that the traffic lights at the busy Catherine Street/Kerr Street junction in the town centre could be reinstated.

Speaking on John Beattie’s BBC Radio Scotland lunchtime discussion programme, she said she was “disappointed” the shared space hadn’t worked in Kirkintilloch but admitted “a number of people” didn’t feel safe.

She added: “What we have always said is that at any time if people want to bring back traffic lights, bring back crossings, then of course if the council decide that’s what’s going to happen, that’s what will happen.

“If it’s not for Kirkintilloch then take it back to council and change it.”

However she added that work would have to continue on the current roadworks which stretch the whole length of Cowgate.

She said: “We have to complete the contract that is in place at the moment.”

When John Beattie asked: “And then rip it up?” she responded: “No, all the trunking is still there for the lights so they can be put back in place.”

MSP Rona Mackay and disabled campaigner Sandy Taylor reiterated their concerns over safety issues on the show.

Ms Mackay wants the lights at the Catherine Street junction to be reinstated, while Mr Taylor highlighted the problems faced by disabled, blind and elderly people wishing to visit the town centre.

Town planner Ricardo Marini, who also took part in the programme, said that shared spaces worked in areas with “a low volume” of traffic and that politicians could not simply “wave a magic wand” and transform a culture where “the car is king.”

The public could text in their views.

You can listen the full interviews through the following link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b086lh6s