Protests grow over street plan

25-3-2017 Picture Jamie Forbes. Queens Building Lenzie.
25-3-2017 Picture Jamie Forbes. Queens Building Lenzie.

Anger is rising over plans for a new road layout for Lenzie — with claims lessons have not been learned from the “disastrous” shared space at Kirkintilloch town centre.

Up to 160 people attended a stormy meeting at a local church hall recently to discuss proposals for Lenzie train station forecourt and changes to the road and pavement in front of the local shops, including a cycle lane.

Frustrated and angry residents vented their fury at the drop-in session, organised by East Dunbartonshire Council and Sustrans Scotland, who are linking up once again for a street design project.

Many local residents have also been getting in touch with the Herald to express their concerns. They say the new project will do nothing to alleviate a huge parking problem in the area.

Objectors include blind campaigner Sandy Taylor of Lenzie, who has been heading the protest against the Kirkintilloch scheme.

Newly elected East Dunbartonshire councillor for Lenzie and Kirkintilloch South, Sandra Thornton (Con), also voiced her fears.

She said: “I am one hundred percent behind the objectors. I live in Lenzie and experience daily the frustration of trying to park anywhere near the shops.

“Having attended the last two public consultation meetings I am increasingly frustrated at the refusal of the Design Team/Sustrans to even acknowledge the concerns of residents.

“Sustrans would like everyone to walk or cycle everywhere. Lenzie has an ageing population for whom car use is essential. I didn’t speak to anyone at the meeting who thought it was a good idea.”

She added: “However, I am being told the majority of people are in favour. I find this surprising and would be interested to hear the views of Lenzie residents. I can be contacted at sandra.thornton@eastdunbarton.gov.uk.

Mr Taylor said that after witnessing the demise of Kirkintilloch, he believed Lenzie residents will “strenuously oppose any scheme not in the interest of the community”.

It is believed two parking spaces will be provided in front of the shops and five in front of the nearby church, as part of the plans.

Mr Taylor added: “Cyclists have expressed fears to me of a ‘door zone’, as vehicles in the parking/loading-bays could cause injury to cyclists when doors are opened”.

A resident added: “Parking is an enormous issue. Listen to the people who live here and do NOT want it”.

Council boss Thomas Glen said: “The council commissioned a parking strategy focusing on capacity and issues in the area, which is due to be completed by October 2017”.

He added the uphill advisory cycle lane is being designed to improve safety for cyclists travelling north.

Sustrans National Director John Lauder said the proposals incorporated feedback from the community following “extensive consultations” and that Sustrans and the council “are working with local access and disability groups to ensure the design proposals are safe and accessible for all users”.

He added the designs “draw on the Scottish Government’s Designing Streets policy statement, with an emphasis away from a system focused on the dominance of motor vehicles”.