Driving forward with new road safety programme
Mon, 23 Mar 2015
“Safer streets, fewer injuries and no fatalities on our roads”, that’s the message from East Ayrshire Council, announcing a multi-million pound plan to tackle accident black-spots, improve rural roads and make cycling and walking safer in towns and villages.
The news comes on top of a report, showing that road casualty trends in the area are continuing to reduce, with no fatalities reported for children aged 16 or under, for the sixth year in a row.
Last year’s figures also showed that one person died, 24 were seriously injured and 194 suffered slight injuries in road traffic accidents. This compares favourably with figures from five years ago (when the Scottish Government set road casualty targets for all local authorities) when five people died, 44 were seriously injured and 237 suffered minor injuries.
Welcoming the report, Councillor Tom Cook, Spokesperson for Community Safety said: “One fatality on our roads is one too many and our absolute aim is to make sure no-one travelling on the road in East Ayrshire is killed.
“Nationally, we are one of the best performing local authorities in reducing the numbers of injuries and fatalities on the road and we’re determined to improve on this even more.”
A further series of measures and work programmes to make roads safer and prevent accidents will be implemented, which includes a £2.6 million improvement along a dangerous section of the A70 at Glenbuck, bordering South Lanarkshire.
The road there will be straightened and widened, significantly improving visibility and new road markings will be introduced to further boost driver safety. Work on the dangerous stretch of road is likely to begin late this year, with completion scheduled for summer 2016.
Planned modifications to the Moorfield roundabout will go ahead, with major resurfacing works and a minor change to the road layout starting in May 2015.
The Council will also introduce anti-skid surfaces on rural roads where problem bends are identified and will work to simplify road signage in urban areas, particularly around schools and residential areas.
A combination of refreshed road markings, chevrons, marker posts and warning signs will also be introduced at critical areas on roads – all aimed at making drivers aware of possible danger ahead – and the need to reduce their speed.
Councillor Cook continued: “Many of the other safety and improvement measures we’ll be undertaking are a direct result of listening to our residents and include dropped kerbs on footpaths for wheelchair and scooter users, or improved bus stops with higher boarding kerbs, better lighting and real-time information boards.
“20mph zones have already been introduced in and around our schools and many residential areas – and this programme will continue.
“In addition, we’ll also be improving our cycle network between Galston and Newmilns, as well as in Kilmarnock town centre, making it safer whether you’re travelling on foot, two wheels or four.”
Road accidents are expensive, costing £40,000 every single day in East Ayrshire – that’s £15 million each year and the cost of a single fatal accident is close to £2 million.
Councillor Cook concluded: “Many accidents can be avoided by driving responsibly and in keeping with road conditions. Ultimately though, road users and pedestrians have to take personal responsibility when out and about.
“We’ll do everything we can to help minimise risk and maximise safety on our roads and in our towns, by continuing to listen to residents and by investing in sensible and practical measures aimed at preventing accidents.”