Transport Scotland challenged – what price a human life?

Brodie street lighting bid sparks row with Transport Scotland
Brodie street lighting bid sparks row with Transport Scotland

COMMUNITY LEADERS SEEKING new safety measures for the busy A96 as it passes through their village are challenging Transport Scotland to place a price on human life.

Members of the Dyke Landward Community Council have posed the question to the transport authority after a meeting last night considered their response to a bid for street lighting being put in place on the road where it passes through Brodie.

It came after a letter from Transport Scotland said that before they could take any action a cost saving had to be identified that was greater than the cost of putting lighting in place.

In their response to the community council bid for the new traffic safety measures, Transport Scotland’s area manager, Gordon Sinclair, wrote: “The primary purpose of road lighting on the strategic network is to reduce personal injury accidents.

“As this is a quantifiable benefit, it is an important consideration that the predicted accident cost saving should be greater than the lighting scheme cost in order to provide economic justification for road lighting.

“As previously stated only one collision has been recorded during the hours of darkness and subsequently the provision of a lighting scheme at this location on road safety grounds cannot be justified.”

That has left community council members angered – not in the least because the response fails to acknowledge that the “collision” mentioned in the letter resulted in the death of a pedestrian who was crossing the busy road in the dark.

Chair of the community council, Carol Shaw, said: “I and all the Dyke Landward Community Councillors are extremely concerned that Transport Scotland are dragging their heels and seem to be prepared to let someone else die on the A96 at Brodie to save Transport Scotland money.

“Just how many people have to be killed before Transport Scotland recognises this part of the A96 is dangerous and actually do something about it? How many people have to die for us to have street lights?”

Responding to the community council’s contention that other towns and villages along the route did have street lighting, Transport Scotland said that they considered safety matters on trunk roads on a “case-by-case” basis, adding that in respect of comparing lighting, traffic signals and speed limits with other locations “this is not a justifiable reason to carry out similar works”.

The community council insist that their fight will go on, Carol Shaw saying: “The Community Council will continue to fight for street lighting along with other issues with the A96 at Brodie.”

Tammy MacKenzie, 92, was killed when she attempted to cross the A96 at Brodie in August 2012.