Second bid by SNP councillors to have lights reinstated at Kirkintilloch shared space

Chaos at Catherine Street junction without the safety lights
Chaos at Catherine Street junction without the safety lights

SNP councillors are to make another bid to have safety lights reinstated at Catherine Street junction in Kirkintilloch at a meeting of East Dunbartonshire Council next week.

LibDem councillors say they will also raise the issue of the shared space at the meeting on Tuesday, June 13 — but have failed to say the lights should be put back at the busy town centre junction, which has been the subject of constant community concern because of safety issues.

A proposal put forward by the SNP minority administration to have the lights returned “as a matter of urgency” was blocked by LibDem and Tory councillors at the first meeting of the newly elected council on May 23. They voted together to prevent the proposal from even being discussed, and instead requested a special meeting of the council on June 13 - five days after the General Election.

Council leader Gordan Low told the Herald he has once again called for the lights to be reinstated.

He added: “I am putting forward the same motion we previously attempted to have considered at the statutory meeting on May 23”.

Seconded by SNP councillor John Jamieson, he wants officers report back to the council as a matter of urgency with proposals for the reinstatement of a signalised junction at Catherine Street, funded from within the capital budget for 2017/18.

He also wants council officers to carry out a full audit of the Cowgate shared space project, including the effects of its various elements on pedestrian and vehicle safety, and accessibility for all user groups, particulary for residents with visual and mobility impairments.

Meanwhile, LibDem Councillor Susan Murray said the shared space would be “debated” at next week’s meeting.

In a press release from the LibDem group, she said: “The community has legitimate concerns about the design of the shared space in Kirkintilloch town centre.

“The council must address these concerns by listening to the community and reviewing the design to make the town centre benefit as many people as possible.

“In particular, the Catherine Street junction needs to work better for vehicles, pedestrians and disabled people, including those who are visually impaired”.

It is almost certain that the LibDems and Conservatives will join together to form a coalition and oust the new SNP minority administration after the country goes to the polls on June 8.