Single vote shatters Speyside community road safety hopes

A SINGLE VOTE at the full meeting of the Moray Council yesterday has shattered the hopes of a community fearful of road safety on the B9014 near Parkmore.

Councillors rejected a petition calling on crash barriers being erected on a stretch of the road that many in the area consider highly dangerous.

A tight bend on the Dufftown to Keith road was always a safety concern – but when trees lining the road were removed, exposing a steep bank down to the railway line, the Dufftown and District Community Association petitioned Moray Council for a barrier to be installed with the support of local MSP Richard Lochhead.

The cost of installing the safety measure was put at £30,000 but locals felt that was a price worth paying to lower the chances of a serious accident on the bend. However, a report to the Council said action had already been taken to improve the quality of advance warning signs on the approach to the bend – and council traffic engineers considered this to be adequate to mitigate any risk.

Councillors rejected the proposal by 13 votes to 12, causing dismay for those who believe that their could easily be a major incident on the road. George Tulloch, who is secretary of the local community council, said: “Councillors from outside the area have decided this – there is overwhelming support in Dufftown.

“We have now gone through all the procedures so where is local democracy? If there is ever a fatal accident inquiry after an accident there it will cause far more reputational damage than £30,000.”

Councillors heard warnings that agreeing to the demands could lead to a flood of similar cases throughout the region, as doing so would move away from Moray Council’s safety policy.