Concerns about road safety at new Waitrose

Main Street and Glasgow Road towards Homebase near where the new Waitrose is being built
Main Street and Glasgow Road towards Homebase near where the new Waitrose is being built

A concerned couple have written to the head of Waitrose because they are worried about road safety at the entrance to a new branch.

Janet (83) and Jim Wales (85), from Mosshead Road in Bearsden, believe traffic lights should be installed on Main Street, Milngavie, at the Burnbrae roundabout - at the entrance to the eagerly-awaited new store.

The supermarket is being built on land formerly owned by West of Scotland Rugby Club and is due to open by spring next year.

Planning permission was granted last year subject to certain conditions, which included improvements and upgrades to the A81 to manage traffic flow and provide pedestrians with safe crossings and improved pavements.

However, Mr and Mrs Wales were dismayed to discover there are no plans for traffic lights.

Their letter states: “It is difficult enough to exit from Homebase to the main road due to the volume of traffic from Main Street and Glasgow Road, and Glasgow Road is obscured by bushes and trees.

“Would it be possible to install traffic lights to enable all traffic to go through the roundabout safely?

“If this isn’t possible, we wouldn’t wish to shop at Waitrose because of the risk factor.

“Tesco, Asda and Morrisons have traffic lights onto the main road for the convenience of their customers.

“We think there will be an accident and someone will be hurt or killed.”

A spokesperson for Waitrose said: “The planning application included a detailed transport assessment, in line with discussions with the council’s highways department.

“This surveyed and assessed vehicle movements for all local junctions to the development, including the roundabout and access road.

“The proposed improvements were the subject of detailed discussions with the council and include additional left and right exit lanes from the access road onto the roundabout and improved sightlines.

“Two new Toucan controlled pedestrian crossings will be incorporated on Main Street and Glasgow Road, near the roundabout, to create new gaps in the traffic on both these roads leading to this roundabout.

“As a result of these changes and improvements the council’s highways department did not require lights to be installed at this roundabout.”

Grace Irvine, East Dunbartonshire Council’s director of neighbourhood services, said signalisation of the roundabout was considered, however the roundabout was too small to accommodate it efficiently.

She added: “Another option was removing the roundabout and replacing it with traffic lights, but this would have presented access problems for the houses opposite.

“The council feels it approved the safest option and exiting the junction will become easier when the store is built as more cars will be entering the site, allowing more opportunities to exit.

“A flare lane, which is where the road is widened to allow two cars side by side, is planned for the junction and will be in place by the time the store opens.”