Disability campaigners welcome traffic lights being reinstated at Kirkintilloch junction

Disability campaigners have hailed East Dunbartonshire Council’s decision to reinstate traffic lights at a busy junction in Kirkintilloch town centre as a “victory for common sense”.

At a recent meeting council leader Gordan Low successfully pushed for lights to be reintroduced at the Catherine Street junction, going against recommendations made by council officers.

The state of the junction has long been a source of controversy with some feeling pedestrian safety is poor, while others argued changing the layout will only make matters worse.

Councillor Low said that the junction had been consulted on repeatedly and the views of the community had not changed.

East Dunbartonshire Visually Impaired People’s Forum welcomed the decision

He based his argument on support for vulnerable road users, especially people with disabilities, and his motion was ultimately voted through despite other councillors and officers expressing concern over the potential impact on traffic flow and the cost of remodelling the junction, estimated at several hundred thousand pounds.

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Sandy Taylor, chair of East Dunbartonshire Visually Impaired People’s Forum, has been campaigning on this issue for several years.

He said: “News that the traffic lights together with controlled crossings are to be reinstated in Kirkintilloch is welcome news for the many disabled and elderly people of the town.

"We, the members of EDVIP, have been campaigning, along with others for over seven years over this discriminatory scheme.

“Previous councils, together with the Kirkintilloch Community Council, refused to listen to local people, including over 3,500 who signed my petition against this dangerous scheme which has led many to abandon the town altogether due to fears for their safety.

“This council ruling is a victory for common sense, democracy and most of all, our equality and human rights.

"I applaud those councillors who made this decision and look forward to an early resolution to this awful scheme.

"We would now ask for the same common sense to be applied to our pavements which are cluttered with excessive café furniture, this prevents many of us from accessing many of the businesses in the town whom we wish to support.”