A HEALTHY DOSE of common sense is being called for from Scotland’s Transport Minister over a disputed pedestrian crossing facility on the A96 Forres Bypass.
That is according to Highlands and Islands MSP (including Moray) David Stewart, who recently visited the enhanced network rail development at Forres.
Mr Stewart said he was “staggered” to learn from the local Community Council that the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland did not think it necessary to locate a pedestrian crossing to the new station.
The MSP said: “I have recently visited the new enhanced network rail development at Forres, with the building of a new faster double rail track and a new station and other infrastructure, a development I fully support and which is part of the improvement programme for the Inverness to Aberdeen line.
“However, I am staggered to learn from the local Community Council that the Government and Transport Scotland do not think it necessary to locate a pedestrian crossing across this part of the A96 for the safe passage of the expected increase in passenger numbers utilising the increased and enhanced rail services.
“Transport Scotland claim that there is no significant collision history on this part of the A96 to merit such a crossing, there only being one fatality in recent times and no serious injury collisions.
“However, they have no data which advises of the number of near misses there have been. In this situation, we have a whole new state of the art development which is expected to attract more passengers to use the improved and increased rail service, yet we are not facilitating their safe passage across a busy ‘A’ class road.
“I and the Community Council have highlighted the precedent set at Nairn, 12 miles away. There were four pedestrian crossings on the A96 at this location and when Sainsbury’s developed the store at the East of Nairn they were advised to increase the traffic control at Nairn A96 junctions from four to eight.
“I am aware that there is no significant collision history at any of these extra four junctions, albeit unfortunately there was a recent fatality involving a vehicle and pedestrian at one of the original traffic controlled junctions.
“I have lodged yet another Parliamentary Question within the Scottish Parliament, asking the Government to intervene directly in this issue and apply a healthy dose of common sense to this illogical decision.”