Requests for safety improvements on Airdrie roads grow after catalog of incidents

Politicians in Airdrie are campaigning to improve safety on some of the city’s busiest roads after recent incidents that include vehicles crashing into traffic lights and the side of a house.

Local councilor Michael Coyle and Neil Gray MSP have written to police and council officials about the “ever-growing list of accidents around the world”. [the] South Airdrie District”.

They highlighted a car that crashed into traffic lights at a notorious curve on Cairnhill Road in December, and another that left Main Street in Calderbank and crashed into a house during morning rush hour the previous month.

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Now the couple are calling for meetings to be held at both sites as they say there has been a “catalogue of accidents” on the two busy highways and in the Chapelhall area that “puts the lives of pedestrians at risk”.

Councilor Coyle recounted how a puffin junction traffic light pole at the bend in Cairnhill Road, near its junction with the Moss Road access lane, was “wiped out” when a driver collided with it in December.

He told Lanarkshire Live: “I have been fighting for years for speed reductions in that area; it’s a bad section on the old bridge and if that had happened when there were kids waiting to cross to the elementary school campus there could have been a fatality.

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“This was the final straw and we need to act on it; I would like to see more signs and flashing lights as drivers approach to alert them that there is a children’s crossing there.

“It’s the same in Calderbank and I think we need barriers along the main street to protect pedestrians there too.

“We cannot sit idly by and let the number of accidents increase because sooner or later the worst will happen; those responsible for road safety must take a serious look at accidents in these areas and find better ways to ensure that pedestrians are safe at all times.”

Mr Gray added: “I often get emails from constituents about speeding, but recently I am hearing more and more about certain areas, namely Cairnhill, Calderbank and Chapelhall.

“So far there has not been a fatality in the areas mentioned, but I fear it will only be a matter of time given where they are, near primary schools and on extremely busy roads.

“The driver’s responsibility is a big part of this, but so is the council’s responsibility to make sure that any area that has numerous accidents is as safe as possible; and Councilman Coyle and I have written to see what can be done about those black spots.”

The politicians’ letter to council chief executive Des Murray and Airdrie Police Inspector Neil MacLeod describes incidents in Cairnhill and Calderbank, as well as another on Lauchope Street in Chapelhall, where they say “a young cyclist was hit by a passing car.

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Expressing concern that the worst accidents could be “only a matter of time”, they wrote: “These roads all see large numbers of children and adults walking along them during rush hour as they make their way to and from local schools and we would be horrified.” if any future incidents resulted in injuries or worse for vulnerable pedestrians.

“We would appreciate it if you could meet us at the sites in question to see what can be done from both a council and police point of view to ensure pedestrians are as safe as possible on these stretches of road.”

North Lanarkshire Council confirmed that the Cairnhill traffic lights, damaged in mid-December, were repaired within two days; and that work on planned security improvements at Calderbank is scheduled to begin at the end of the month.

A spokesman for the local authority said: “The council carried out a detailed study of traffic conditions at Calderbank in response to a number of road safety concerns raised by the local community along the B802, [including] a public consultation in February and March 2021.

“All feedback was carefully considered before finalizing the proposed improvements: introduction of an additional signal-controlled intersection north of Park Road, two new mini-roundabouts at the intersections of Main Street with Crowwood Road and Calder Street. [and] improvements to existing mini roundabout; [and] more signs and road signs at the entrances to the town.

“Work was originally anticipated to start last fall; however, this was contingent on similar traffic calming work being completed at Chapelhall, as it was not considered appropriate to have significant disruption to both areas at the same time.

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“We expect the security improvement works to start at Calderbank at the end of February; Additional traffic surveys will be conducted when the work is completed to monitor the effectiveness of these measures and determine if additional improvements are needed.”

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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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