CAMPAIGNERS WISHING TO see a new pedestrian crossing over the busy A96 to Forres railway station are being advised to petition the Scottish Parliament.
Long standing road safety campaigner and regional MSP David Stewart, who recently attended the summit meeting between community representatives and Transport Scotland to discuss the issue, has offered an alternative suggestion should the roads agency fail to meet local requirements.
Forres Community Council are leading the call for the crossing, which they say will be needed as the steady expansion of rail services continues – including plans for a new rail station. It has been estimated that there may be as much as a 75% increase in the number of passengers making their way on foot over the A96 to the station.
Mr Stewart said: “Most of those present at the meeting held the other day in Forres are hoping that we may have done enough to convince Transport Scotland to install a pedestrian crossing on the A96.
“Mr Aitken from Transport Scotland advised that after listening to the concerns of all others present he would ask for a reassessment to be carried out – but that he would not know the outcome for two or three months.”
Recalling his experience as chairman of the Parliamentary Petition Committee, the MSP added that he has now written to the Forres Community Council advising them of an alternative course of action available should Transport Scotland fail to listen to their pleas.
He said: “They may wish to raise a petition locally and once they have gathered all the signatures they need hand the petition to the Petitions Committee, where it will be discussed and there are a number of options open to the committee thereafter.
“I don’t want to prejudge anything Transport Scotland are doing on this matter, but I think it is appropriate to keep the pressure on them and be prepared for any eventuality.
“After all this Government organisation were content to increase the traffic lights on the A96 though Nairn from four to eight, all of which have a pedestrian crossing facility, even although the footfall at some is very low, so we have precedent.”