Marykirk community calls for safe crossing at school after housing development given go-ahead

© DC ThomsonLeigh Wilson
Leigh Wilson

An Aberdeenshire community has called for a crossing to be installed after plans to expand the village were approved.

A total of 27 new homes will be built at Marykirk, but despite pressure from residents, members of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee rejected calls to ask the developer to provide a safe crossing point at the primary school.

The decision was a blow to the local community, who last year campaigned to have traffic-calming measures installed in the village.

A public meeting was also held, where West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie heard their concerns.

Traffic monitoring has subsequently been carried out by the council and police.

But Mearns councillor Leigh Wilson believes the new development increases the danger for local schoolchildren, and wants action now.

He said: “Residents have had a number of traffic issues in the area.

“The Marykirk junction is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous in the area, and although the new flyover will be incredibly welcome, that is still a few years away.

“The issue of appropriate road crossings is not just an isolated issue here, it is something increasingly coming to my attention in a number of rural settlements, including St Cyrus.

“I think there has to be a wider debate about how we manage traffic in rural areas, and certainly in Marykirk.

“Building houses without considering an appropriate road crossing would seem to represent a lack of foresight.”

Marykirk resident and chairman of Mearns Community Council, Chris Rushbridge, also stressed the need for a crossing.

“Traffic through the village is routinely in excess of the 30mph limit, making it difficult to cross the road safely at certain times of the day.

“The approved new development will inevitably add an appreciable number to those already crossing the road here, particularly schoolchildren, so it is important that this be addressed without further delay.”

A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “The transportation team did give a professional view on this application and specified conditions to be met to ensure the safety of road users and pedestrians.

“The inclusion of a formal crossing point was not considered to be necessary at this location.”