Five-month monitoring delay

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East Dunbartonshire Council is to wait until September 
before undertaking 
“extensive monitoring” of Kirkintilloch’s shared space.

In a progress report circulated to elected members in March, council boss Thomas Glen said the monitoring will come after the “bedding in” of the new road layout.

Cowgate reopened fully at the beginning of April, including all four arms of the busy Catherine Street/Kerr Street junction, minus traffic lights.

The Herald broadcast live footage from the junction through Facebook on Tuesday, April 18, after the schools returned from the Easter break.

The half-hour footage, which included a number of near misses between vehicles, was viewed by 8,000 people and attracted hundreds of comments, the vast majority of them 
negative about the new layout.

Concerns were also raised about visiting motorists and pedestrians.

On the Herald Facebook site, Margaret D’Annunzio posted: “Wow, this was under construction when I was home last year.

“This must be REALLY confusing for drivers from out of town. Looks like an accident waiting to happen”.

Nicole Marsland agreed and posted: “This is a disaster for drivers from out of town. There is no warning for the driver ... are we just meant to be mind readers?”

In the technical report Mr Glen stated that once Cowgate fully reopened a period of bedding in will follow to “enable users to become more familiar with the space”.

The report said the monitoring will comprise of:

n Recording of speed and traffic volumes in the space;

n Video monitoring (to record pedestrian movement, analyse social interaction and junction priority);

n A retail vitality survey of users of the town centre (gathering data on retail spend, how people travelled to the centre and the distance they came from, distances travelled by retail staff and perceptions of the town).

A follow-up appraisal will also be carried out by Living Streets Scotland, which the council described in the report as “the UK’s leading pedestrian rights charity”.

In 2015, Living Streets came out in support of the shared space works – but protesters claimed the charity was not independent as it was “a partner with Sustrans”, 
the environment group which set the criteria for the design of the divisive new road layout.