Shared space scheme 'hasn't worked', council leader admits

 

A council leader has admitted that a controversial shared space scheme in a Scottish town has not worked and said it may be removed – but it will have to be finished first.

Appearing on a BBC radio programme, East Dunbartonshire Council leader Rhondda Geekie said she was ‘disappointed’ that a shared space scheme in Kirkintilloch ‘hasn’t worked’.

'But people are telling me they don’t like it so that’s obviously what we’ll have to decide in future,' she added.

Ms Geekie said: ‘What we have always said is that at any time if people want to bring back traffic lights, bring back crossings, then of course if the council decides that’s what’s going to happen, that’s what will happen.

‘If it’s not for Kirkintilloch then obviously take it back to council and change it.’

Ms Geekie pointed out that the scheme is not yet fully in place and that the contract with a local firm would have to be completed.

When asked by BBC presenter John Beattie, ‘And then rip it up?’ she responded: ‘No, all the trunking is still there for the lights so those can be put back in place.’

Local MSP Rona Mackay told the programme that constituents told her 'pretty much on a daily basis' that they don't feel safe. Ms Geekie admitted that a number of people had told her this.

Responding to suggestions that problems with shared space schemes in Scotland reflect the fact that ‘the car is king’, Ms Geekie said that tackling this was ‘exactly what we are trying to do’.

On the possibility that the scheme might be removed, local resident Sandy Taylor, who is blind, said: ‘We can only hope so.’

He added: ‘It seems stupid to continue with the same design for the last little bit.’

Mr Taylor told Transport Network that disabled and elderly people 'have been designed out of their own town centre’ and claimed that Christmas takings in some shops were down by up to 50%.

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