Council urged to take action to address road safety concerns in Perthshire hamlet

A frustrated community living just outside Perth has said it feels council staff are ignoring their pleas for a proper pavement to be formed through their hamlet to keep them safe from speeding motorists.

And they fear their experiences of having to dodge drivers passing through The Holdings at West Kinfauns to avoid being struck will multiply if a massive leisure development is approved just down the road.

Some locals say they have been pressing their case for a raised pavement to be built along the narrow main road that passes through the hamlet to protect them from passing traffic for decades.

But they claim Perth and Kinross Council officials always come up with a reason they cannot act on their suggestion such as other planned road safety projects taking “priority” over theirs.

They say they understand local authority staff may have limited options because of land ownership issues but feel something must be done to make the road safer soon to reduce the risk of an accident or worse occurring in the near future.

The community believes their calls for action have been given greater urgency by the recent approval of a new housing scheme at The Holdings by the Scottish Government and Morris Leslie’s application to form a museum, a hotel and other holiday accommodation on nearby land next to the Tay .

They suspect the application will be approved and argue this should not be allowed unless someone takes responsibility for road safety and agrees to form a pavement to protect them as well as all those who end up living or staying in the area through either development.

Local man Stephen Windsor (70) says he has repeatedly asked roads officials to investigate options to create some sort of safe passageway for pedestrians over the years but has been left thoroughly disappointed by their responses to date.

He says he has also pointed out to the council’s equalities team that some elderly and disabled people are physically unable to hop off the main road onto grass verges to dodge passing traffic like other locals have to but claims his most recent emails to the department have gone unanswered.

Mr Windsor, whose wife Phyllis has been hit twice by traffic on the road and once by a cyclist, says the situation is often made far worse when diversions are put in place that force more motorists down their street.

“If you are a disabled person and there are cars coming down the road in both directions you can’t get off the road,” he told the Perthshire Advertiser. “It’s supposed to be a 20mph zone but people just come bombing through here. And people parking on the road makes things even worse.

“We’ve been campaigning about this issue for the past 27 years and there isn’t a group left that we haven’t been in touch with to try and help us but we feel like we’re just getting nowhere where with it.

“It’s like we’re living in Brigadoon at the moment – it’s like West Kinfauns is just this forgotten wee place that nobody bothers about. In this day and age it is a disgrace that people are frightened to go out for a walk.”

Another local, Pam Kemley, remarked: “When there is a diversion in place people do come rattling along here at some speed. I won’t walk my dogs when it is busy. I do worry about what difference all this planned new development is going to make to the volume of traffic coming along here.”

And a third local, Jim Dewar, complained: “Every time there is an issue on the motorway we get hit with traffic.

“And this road is just not up to it. It’s not wide enough for two cars and there’s no pavement whatsoever. You can’t even call it a B road. I don’t know what you would call it.”

A PKC spokesperson commented: “We understand residents’ concerns about the safety of pedestrians and our road safety team takes these extremely seriously.

“The request for a footway has been received and this was assessed and scored against other demands.

“Unfortunately, given the council has limited resources and many competing demands, other footway requests have been scored as a higher priority at this time.

“We will continue to monitor the location and should anything change then will be happy to reassess the request if any new developments arise that would affect the request’s priority score.

“Transport Planning was consulted on the planning application for mixed use development at West Kinfauns and has made several recommendations including a condition that a footway is constructed on Kinfauns Holdings.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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