Marykirk villagers seek a safe crossing

Councillor Leigh Wilson has called for a wider debate on traffic management in rural areas
Councillor Leigh Wilson has called for a wider debate on traffic management in rural areas

Calls are intensifying for a crossing to be installed in a Mearns community concerned over traffic issues.

Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee recently approved 27 houses in Marykirk but turned down a move to attach a condition that the developer should provide a safe crossing point to the school.

Local residents last year stepped up their campaign to have traffic calming measures installed following a number of near misses and invited local MP Andrew Bowie to a public meeting to hear their concerns.

Traffic monitoring has since been carried out by both Aberdeenshire Council and Police Scotland, but villagers fear a new development risks worsening the problem.

Mearns Councillor Leigh Wilson supported the amendment at committee for a crossing to be provided as part of the construction process.

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.

“To increasingly build houses without considering an appropriate road crossing would seem to lack foresight.”

Marykirk resident and Mearns Community Council chair Chris Rushbridge also underlined the need for a crossing.

He said: “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 need should be addressed without further delay.”