Seventeen new pedestrian crossings will likely be installed later this year around West Lothian but a school where children are considered at risk is not included.
No crossings will be around Peel Primary in Livingston where parents and the community council have raised a petition of 400 signatures asking for them.
With a timing that infuriated councilors and community representatives, council officers presented proposals to deliver the new crossings just a week after Eliburn Community Council chair Steve Egan appeared before a meeting of the council executive to make a case for crossings at the school in northern Livingston.
The new crossings agreed yesterday to cover all wards of the council area – except Livingston North. They were on a list first drawn up in late 2020.
Pandemic restrictions meant that roads officers could not examine the sites until a year later and the recommendations, which went before the environment policy development and scrutiny panel (PDSP) this week are based on investigations held last October.
Final agreement will have to be made by the council executive, but design engineering manager Ronnie Fisher told the panel that he expected work to start on the 17 crossings later this year.
Speaking at last week’s executive meeting Mr Egan said: “In August I asked for a road safety audit and nothing ever materialised.”
He added that the petition had been drawn up after a near miss outside the school. He was critical of poor signage outside the school and suggested that the parent teacher council and community council were prepared to make a bid for funding from Town Center funds to pay for the installation of crossings.
The community had already secured money through the Town Center Improvement Fund to have pavements built around the school two years ago. But since then nothing has been done to make the walk to school safer for children or parents, and many rely on using their cars.
Council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick suggested that Peel be added to the list of schools being examined as part of the review of road safety following the Spaces for People survey, with a report to come back to the council on June 22. Mr Egan accepted this.
However, at the meeting of the PDSP this week councilor Alison Adamson called for Peel to be given priority given the risks to children from several near misses.
She said: “The petition was presented last week and they were told something greater or not happen when a review takes place in June.
“Yesterday a child was taken to hospital following an incident outside this school and a family of four had a near miss. The police have been advised. What can be done to establish an urgent review when children are at great risk outside their schools?”
Mr Fisher said: “Unfortunately I don’t have the details regarding the petition so I cannot comment on how that’s being taken forward. Certainly I can have a look at it. I can also get back to you on the road safety audit issue.”
Councillor Adamson asked if money could be directed to the Peel proposal adding: “I’m begging that this one gets some consideration.”
Chairing the meeting Councilor Tom Conn said: “This council leader has directed that this location be investigated. I don’t think the PDSP can direct money. We need to wait for that assessment to take place.”
Councilor Adamson replied that Mr Egan had specifically been told that the area would not be given priority but would be looked at with all other school sites.
She added: “This particular crossing had been reported before the assessments on the sites presented in this paper today and for whatever reason it never got included. Every single ward has got some form of crossing and Livingston North is getting nothing. It has been noted.”
Councillor Conn said the officers could only do an assessment having put the information together. He said that he sympathized with councillor Adamson’s appeal for priority but suggested that all applications were considered a priority by the applicants and asked which of the others should be put aside.
The 17 sites which have been approved for crossings are:
A89 Junction of Newhouses Road, Broxburn; Church Street, Addiewell; Calder Park Road, Mid Calder; Lower Bathville at Mayfield Drive, Armadale; Preston Road, Linlithgow; Main Street, Mid Calder; Simpson Parkway, Kirkton South Road, Livingston; B8084 South Street, Armadale; Hardhill Road, Bathgate; Market Street, Mid Calder; A705, Red Mill Nursing Home, Whitburn; B8084, North Street, Armadale; Murieston West Road, Livingston; Kirkton South Road, Livingston; A705, East Main Street, Blackburn; Springfield Road, Linlithgow; Lower Bathville at Heatherfield Walk, Armadale.
A report to the panel said: “Consultation will be carried out with ward members, the local community and relevant parties during the detailed design stage. The approval of the program will allow the implementation of the recommended new pedestrian crossing facilities and will support the objectives of encouraging cycling, walking and improving safety for vulnerable road users”
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