Campaigners on Speyside are celebrating victory following a two-year battle in their fight to get a pedestrian crossing on their High Street.
Every day hundreds of lorries rumble through the heart of Aberlour on the A95 Aviemore road, which is commonly known as the “whisky highway”.
Locals have reported youngsters being hit by vehicles over the last two years, deepening safety concerns.
Now Transport Scotland has set aside money to create a crossing for residents after it was named the top priority in the Planning for Real survey run in 2016.
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The lack of lights to enable children to cross the busy trunk road safely has been criticised as “outrageous” by locals.
Brian Hinnie, vice-convener of Aberlour Community Association, said: “It’s been the main issue for us because it ensures safety for our elderly popularly as well as younger people.
“Aberlour is divided by this road so it is badly needed.
“Obviously there are a lot of lorries that pass through but in the summer there are tourers and camper vans too alongside increased footfall. A crossing is common sense.”
Every day pupils heading to Aberlour Primary School and Speyside High School have to cross the road to get to class.
Last year, Moray Council proposed withdrawing school crossing patrollers but following concerns from residents, agreed to keep them in spots with no traffic lights – such as Aberlour.
A consultation will now be run by Transport Scotland to establish the best location for the crossing on the village’s High Street.
Yesterday, Moray MSP Richard Lochhead praised the dedication of residents in pressing the need for a crossing.
He said: “This is a breakthrough in the community’s efforts with Transport Scotland giving the go-ahead for a pedestrian crossing.
“Everyone knows that a significant amount of traffic passes through the village – particularly lorries from the local whisky and timber industries.
Speyside Glenlivet councillor Louise Laing said: “Two years ago there was actually a school pupil who got hit by a car on the road. A lot of them have to cross it every day.
“I think it’s just the volume of traffic that makes it particularly difficult. There’s a lot more now than there used to be.”
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Following completion of a traffic survey in 2018, the installation of a controlled crossing has been recommended in Aberlour and has been scheduled for construction in the next financial year.
“As part of the scheme preparations, local residents will be consulted on the survey findings and details of the proposed design solution.”