Permanent 20mph limit should be in force at Aberdeenshire school before tragedy strikes, says councillor

School Road in Kintore
School Road in Kintore

Safety improvements on a busy road that runs past an Aberdeenshire school must be carried out as soon as possible before someone is killed, a councillor has claimed.

Plans have been put forward to make the part-time 20mph speed limit zone on School Road in Kintore a permanent fixture to prevent speeding parents or other drivers endangering children attending Kintore Primary.

A traffic survey of the road, which goes through the heart of the Aberdeenshire town, found many motorists break the temporary 20mph limit when it is enforced.

The survey, which took place this spring, showed around 85% of motorists drive at 24mph when the 30mph restriction is in place, and 27mph when the part-time 20mph is in force in mornings and afternoons.

The same figure was found to increase to 29mph during lunchtime periods.

Currently, no traffic calming measures such as speed bumps can be installed, while the lower speed limit is only active for certain parts of the day.

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East Garioch councillor Glen Reid yesterday appealed for the committee to move forward with a new permanent rule for School Road, so speed-reducing features could be put in place in the future.

He said: “We have one of the busiest roads in Aberdeenshire, next to one of the busiest roads across Aberdeenshire.

“There was tragically a fatality as a result of a crash on this road in 2017, and we have long been campaigning for better road safety here.

“I have spoken to the local lollipop lady, and unfortunately she believes that nothing will be done to address this unless there’s a fatality.

“We need to prove her wrong.”

Mr Reid’s thoughts were echoed by committee chairman Fergus Hood, who added: “We cannot wait until a child gets run over before we act.”

Inverurie and District councillor Lesley Berry put forward an amendment to abandon the plans, arguing it would be difficult to enforce the 20mph, and said speeders tend to ignore restrictions regardless.

However, she was defeated by nine votes to three in favour of the proposals.

The plans will now go before the authority’s infrastructure services committee for further consideration.