Safety fears over access route for 
new school

Residents angry about new school plans.
Residents angry about new school plans.

An access route for heavy traffic involved in the 
construction of a new 
primary school will put 
children’s lives at risk, 
warn angry residents.

The new school is planned to be built on the site of Woodhill Primary, replacing the latter, as well as Auchinairn Primary School and 
Cleddens Learning and Childcare Centre.

But protesters living nearby are objecting, on safety grounds, to the access route to the site via Thrum Avenue and Ochil Road proposed by East Dunbartonshire Council.

They say it will, in particular, put pupils from nearby Bishopbriggs Academy at risk, with hundreds of youngsters using the route at lunchtime.

And they claim there is a safer route which the council has ignored.

One of the protesters, Dr Ronald Patterson, who lives in Ochil Road, complained to the Herald on Monday about a lack of public consultation.

He said: “We have basically had no consultation. Everyone is up in arms.”

Dr Patterson outlined his objections to the traffic arrangements in a letter last month to the council’s planning department.

He complained that Ochil Road and Thrum Avenue are narrow residential roads and unsuitable for heavy site lorries, and that the route is a dead end with no possibility of site traffic being able to turn or pass one another.

This would mean, he said, that if lorries blocked the road, there would be no access for emergency vehicles.

He added: “The proposed pedestrian entrance for Woodhill School is immediately adjacent to the HGV and site traffic entrance.

“At lunchtime pupils from Bishopbriggs Academy exit along Ochil Road and Thrums Avenue. Around 400 of them wander all over the road to pick up their lunch from the Woodhill Road shops, hardly a safe mixture with site traffic.”

He and fellow protestors are urging the council to consider an alternative route “before a child is injured”.

He said: “Going via Angus 
Avenue and the gate into the playground on the south side of Bishopbriggs Academy to the construction site would address the safety issues.”

He claimed this was previously looked at by planners but rejected on cost.

Thomas Glen, director of development and regeneration said: “It is important any construction site is managed safely and effectively.

“As part of any planning consent there will be a construction method statement detailing how the construction contractor will do this.

“Construction vehicles will not be allowed to enter or exit the area during school drop-off and pick-up times and all traffic in and out of the site will also be properly supervised.

“At other times there will be a road traffic order in place to prevent parking.”