Hundreds sign petition within hours against traffic lights at Allander junction, Bearsden

Hundreds of residents have signed a petition blasting East Dunbartonshire Council as anger erupts again over a controversial traffic lights installation on the main A81 Milngavie Road at Bearsden.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 3:25 pm
Roadworks on Milngavie Road

Work is due to begin on the installation at the junction with the access road to the Allander, on Monday, April 5, lasting up to 12 weeks.

Huge disruption is expected for drivers and the work coincides with the closure of the nearby A81 Glasgow Road for bridge repairs, as well as temporary roadworks on Milngavie Road, above, at Reid Avenue.

Residents have blasted East Dunbartonshire Council for “a lack of public consultation” over the work – with many saying they only heard about it via friends on social media.

Almost 100 people slated the council on its Facebook page and in the space of 24 hours, an online petition “Reverse Traffic Light decision at Allander junction onto Milngavie Road” has gathered over 500 signatures – and counting.

This week, Milngavie councillor Jim Gibbons, who opposed the lights, said: “It is not the council's job to make people angry but they seem to have managed it in spectacular style. I have been contacted by a good number of constituents and there has been an angry response to EDC's Facebook post."

Resident Lindsay Hartley set up the online petition and supporter Craig Primrose posted: “Further to EDCs proposal to install traffic lights on Milngavie Road without speaking to the community, please sign the petition to oppose this ludicrous plan.”

He added: “The plan will exasperate emissions and congestion on Milngavie Rd, and will deter cyclists further from using the cycle lane.”

The installation will also result in the removal of 28 parking bays on Milngavie Road, used by families who have lived in the area for decades, including one family with a disabled daughter.

Appeals to the council from Bearsden North Community Council have fallen on deaf ears. One solution put to them for a mini-roundabout at the junction rather than traffic lights was ignored.

Council officers cited safety concerns for the erection of the lights at a meeting of the Planning Board last summer, and councillors voted it through by 14-4 votes.

Lindsay added on her petition post: “We have been aware of EDC's plans to install permanent lights here since last summer and have been pleading with them via direct emails to Thomas Glen and indirectly via the councillors to engage in consultation with the residents who will be affected by these works.

"The proposal is being actioned with no evidence that it will make any real difference to driver experience.

"The council's report only highlighted 11am on a Saturday as a busy time coming out of the Allander and 15 minutes or so at rush hour on weekdays. The venture will see ALL PARKING REMOVED directly opposite the junction and for 80metres to the south.

"As residents of the houses that will be most affected by these works, we were appalled that we were not communicated with in a more personal manner.

"At no time have we been notified of these plans, finding out only by chance. Leaving it to chance, once again, for us to see this week's Twitter announcement is at best careless and at worst underhand.”

Council boss Thomas Glen told the Herald in a recent report that a rise in traffic at the junction when the rebuilt Allander reopens means “safety is paramount”.

He added: “Rest assured, the council will assess the performance of the traffic lights once installed and consider any issues which arise. Regrettably there will be a loss of public street parking.”