Crieff campaigners to take on Transport Scotland over road safety issues at public meeting

(C) DC ThomsonCrieff High Street

Campaigners are urging residents to tackle Transport Scotland on pollution and speed limit problems affecting Crieff town centre at a public meeting this week. The traffic organisation published an action plan in August on how to deal with long-standing air quality issues affecting the A85 running through the centre of the town. Suggestions in the action plan include a parking shake-up, a new traffic control system and fining motorists who let their engines idle.

A community engagement meeting on the Crieff Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) will take place on Saturday and road safety campaigners are encouraging people to use the forum to call for a reduction in the speed limit on the High Street as well. Craig Finlay, a former community councillor, wrote to the transport authority regarding traffic congestion and difficulties crossing the A85, Crieff’s main street.

Crieff campaigners to take on Transport Scotland over road safety issues at public meeting(C) DC ThomsonCraig Finlay

He said: “I suggested that Transport Scotland should consider a reduction of the speed limit through the town’s main retail area from 30mph to 20mph. “With additional crossings, this could make it easier for pedestrians to cross the street, as well as providing a more calm place to shop.

“I also pointed out that some studies prove a reduction in air pollution when speed limits are reduced. “Transport Scotland has always ruled out reductions in speed limits on the A85 in the past, so it’s encouraging that the agency is now agreeing to analyse data from pilot sites in order to consider further roll-outs. “I would encourage as many people as possible to attend the upcoming Crieff AQAP meeting to raise issues of road safety in the town’s main street.”

Transport Scotland, in their reply to Mr Findlay, said the roll-out of 20mph zones were carefully considered in sites such as Biggar and Maybole, where they have been installed. Richard Perry, road safety manager, said: “There is currently no definitive evidence that we are aware of showing the impact of reducing speed limits to 20 mph in urban areas on CO2 emissions or air quality. “Emission levels depend on a variety of factors including driving style, vehicle design and fuel efficiency.

“Speed is just one factor to consider in the relationship between vehicles and the environment.

“As part of our on-going commitment to improving road safety on the network and to reach the 2020 casualty reduction targets we will, of course, continue to monitor road safety in Crieff, as we do with the trunk road network as a whole on an annual basis.”

The Crieff AQAP public meeting will take place at Strathearn Community Campus on Saturday between 10am and 1pm.

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