New nursery for Milngavie - but councillors vote for NO pedestrian crossing at the site

Photo Emma Mitchell 7.3.16'St Joseph's Primary, Milngavie
Photo Emma Mitchell 7.3.16'St Joseph's Primary, Milngavie

Councillors have voted to build a new nursery school for Milngavie – without including a pedestrian crossing which was recommended by officers.

Councillor Jim Gibbons (SNP, Milngavie) who had pushed for the signalised crossing to be provided, said parents from the south side of the town would now have “no option but to take a car to the nursery”.

The new nursery will be constructed on the site of the former St Joseph’s Primary School, at the  junction of Craigdhu Road and North Campbell Drive.

Establishing the new nursery is part of the council’s work towards the Scottish Government’s requirement that every child be eligible for 1,140 hours of free childcare or nursery education.

While the previous school at this site had space for 130 pupils, the new nursery will be smaller and cater for 87 children.

The main report on the proposals, which was considered by the planning committee at a meeting on Tuesday, August 6, recommended an informal crossing point featuring dropped kerbs, tactile paving and appropriate signage and an assessment on whether bus boarders (raised kerbs) should be installed at the bus stops on Craighdhu Road.

However,  comments from East Dunbartonshire Council Traffic and Transport called for road crossing arrangements to be taken even further.

Their comment in the report stated: “In terms of the wider pedestrian network, although it is noted that two signalised crossings are available, 230 metres to the east and 280 metres to the west of the site, there is a requirement for improvement to the existing network. The Transport Assessment proposes the provision of a drop crossing with tactile pavings to the east of Vivian Avenue. However, given the data examined, it is recommended that a signalised crossing should be provided.”

Milngavie SNP Councillor Jim Gibbons supported this recommendation by tabling an amendment, seconded by Councillor Gordan Low (SNP Bishopbriggs South) that such a crossing be installed instead.

Councillors were given the choice of voting for a motion to accept the recommendations made in the report, with an additional requirement to monitor the situation for the first three months of the nursery’s operation against Councillor Gibbons’ amendment. The motion was carried by seven votes to six.

After the meeting Councillor Gibbons commented: “The council are spending millions on delivering the Scottish government’s extra nursery provision.  Why not spend a little extra on public safety?  

“This decision  goes against the council’s own sustainable travel plan. Anyone from the south side of Milngavie will have no option but to take a car to the nursery.”