Transport Minister to give his verdict on shared space

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Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf is to give his verdict on the controversial shared space in Kirkintilloch town centre.

Mr Yousaf has been invited to provide evidence on the controversial scheme at the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee.

The committee reconvened at Holyrood on Thursday to discuss disabled campaigner Sandy Taylor’s petition for a moratorium on all shared spaces in Scotland until safety and equality issues have been 

Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay, who is a member of the committee, called for Mr Yousaf to provide evidence.

Declaring an interest, Ms Mackay told fellow members she had been backing disabled protestor Sandy Taylor’s 
campaign against the town centre scheme from the start.

She said: “I would be very keen to have the Minister for Transport provide evidence at a future meeting on the whole issue.

“I would also like the petition referred to the Equalities Commission because the petitioner states quite clearly that this is a breach of the human rights of the less able in the community who feel effectively barred from their own town.

“The design of the shared space initiative in Kirkintilloch is entirely unsuitable and has caused a huge amount of anger.”

The committee agreed Mr Yousaf be invited to a meeting at a future date.

Ms Mackay has also written to the leader of East Dunbartonshire Council, Rhondda Geekie, asking her to reinstate the traffic lights at the busy Catherine Street junction.

Thomas Glen, Depute Chief Executive - Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets, said on Monday: “The council is aware of Mr Taylor’s petition and will continue to monitor discussions and works within the policies and regulations provided to all councils.

“The first improvements at Catherine Street are being successfully used by many pedestrians and road users.

“We will continue to assess the operation of the junction and where necessary respond appropriately to matters raised and ensure improvements are made if and when required.”