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Lesmahagow Community Council

Road changes on B7078 following fatal accidents

Added on 29 September 2013

SLC have advised that they will now be making changes to the B7078 road layout in order to improve safety. Below is the text we received which details the changes;

Thank you for your enquiry of 10 September 2013 regarding the tragic accident back in July at Park’s Corner / Craighead Gardens on the B7078, and in particular the representation you have received from Lesmahagow Community Council.

Following the accident the Council, in conjunction with Police Scotland, have been reviewing its cause, as well as the previous accident history at this location, to ascertain whether any improvement measures can be taken forward to reduce the likelihood of such an accident occurring in the future. This review has now been completed and we met recently with the local elected members to discuss our proposals, having considered a number of options.

We propose to reduce the speed limit around the bend at Park’s Corner / Craighead Gardens to 50mph, however, it must be borne in mind that a change in limit will not alone reduce the speed of drivers, as the character of the road would not change if the speed limit change was the only action. We also, therefore, propose to reduce the northbound carriageway to a single lane on the off side from just south of Southview to north of Craighead Gardens. This will narrow the road and allow for improved visibility at both junctions and, coupled with the speed limit reduction, would reduce the potential for high speed entry into the bend. In addition to the lane reduction we also propose to erect a vehicle activated bend warning sign on the northbound approach to the bend before Craighead Gardens and new chevron signs on the central reserve around the bend, to compliment the existing fixed warning signs. Further south of Craighead Gardens we also propose to reduce the southbound carriageway to a nearside single lane through the Southview junction to allow for creation of a right turn storage on the off side lane and a merge for right turning traffic from the side road joining the southbound carriageway.

We note the Community Council’s request for a “fixed speed camera”. South Lanarkshire Council is a member of the Strathclyde Safety Camera Partnership. The provision of safety cameras within the Council area is controlled by the Partnership whose membership comprises of 12 local authorities, Transport Scotland and Police Scotland. Its purpose is to reduce road casualties. This is done by identifying locations where speed, in excess of the speed limit, has resulted in casualties and to target these sites with cameras. Following the accident this location has been reassessed and although the area does not meet the criteria for a fixed safety camera, we do propose to liaise further with Strathclyde Safety Camera Partnership with regards the introduction of a mobile speed camera site.

These proposals will now be developed further, in discussion with Police Scotland, and the statutory procedures to reduce the speed limit will commence shortly. We expect to be able to introduce the signing and lining proposals before the end of financial year and, subject to the successful promotion of the new speed limit, reduce the speed limit shortly thereafter. The local elected members welcomed these proposals.

Given the foregoing we do not see any benefit in further meetings at this time and so decline your request. We note the Community Council’s comment that they feel that the current speed limit is appropriate for the location, but that accidents seem to be occurring at much higher speeds; this certainly appears to be the case and, ultimately, the onus must be on drivers to drive appropriately to the conditions, including the signs speed limit. Notwithstanding this, it is our belief that delivery of the packet of measures described will assist in improving road safety at this location by helping to change drivers’ perception of these conditions.

I trust that the foregoing will be of assistance to you.

Sent on behalf of Colin McDowall, Executive Director.