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Garioch area committee to decide on traffic calming measures for Kintore

By Kyle Ritchie

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Councillors are set to confirm their preferred option for traffic calming measures on Kintore's School Road.

At its meeting next Tuesday the Garioch area committee is being asked to select its preference so Aberdeenshire Council can start the statutory procedures required.

At its December meeting members assessed six options that were put before them, however, they requested that a seventh be added which was to implement a mandatory 20mph speed limit and for the report to come back to them.

A mandatory 20mph speed limit is a new option for traffic calming measures on Kintore's School Road.
A mandatory 20mph speed limit is a new option for traffic calming measures on Kintore's School Road.

The initial six options that were detailed were two speed tables as was originally proposed; two speed tables and two pairs of speed cushions; a relocated pedestrian crossing point on a raised table; a relocated pedestrian crossing point with two speed tables; a new junction layout at Tuach Road; and raising the existing pedestrian crossing and adding two speed tables.

They are being assessed after concerns were raised about speeding vehicles on the road.

Aberdeenshire Council's infrastructure services committee agreed to depart from the local authority's policy, due to exceptional circumstances, to allow traffic calming measures to be considered for the road and to instruct the head of roads, landscapes and waste services to report back to the Garioch area committee with options.

In the report that will go before councillors on Tuesday, prepared by senior roads engineer Alistair Millar, it outlines: "As requested by the committee, officers have prepared a seventh option, the introduction of a mandatory 20mph speed limit on School Road, covering the extent of the current part-time 20 but to also include Tuach Road and Castle Walk.

"Having assessed this particular section of road, in isolation, it can be confirmed that this could be considered as a natural extension to any town centre mandatory 20mph limit for Kintore town centre.

"This service's preference would be to introduce this speed limit proposal as part of the Aberdeenshire wide introduction of mandatory 20mph limits.

"However, in this instance, managers have agreed that the speed limit changes on the above mentioned roads, could be brought forward, with these roads being thereafter incorporated into the wider Kintore proposals.

"Upon approval of the committee’s preferred option, it is proposed to carry out the relevant consultation processes."

The report that went before the committee in December said: "It is proposed that the committee’s preferred option will be produced in more detail during, if approved, the statutory and public consultation periods.

"The roads and infrastructure service carried out a traffic survey on School Road between 18th and 25th of September 2021, the counters being mounted adjacent to the pedestrian crossing.

"Having had the data interpreted by the council’s road safety engineering unit it has advised that – only 35-40 per cent of the readings showed speeds less than 20mph during the periods when the school 20mph signs were in operation.

"However, that figure is three times the national compliance rate for such limits which sits at 14 per cent the volume of trucks/semi-trucks was higher than would be expected on this type of road but would include buses and larger vans.

"As a result, there is still no support for traffic calming measures from either the council’s roads standards group nor the road safety engineering unit.

"No additional informal consultations have been carried out on the above options. However, the initial objections to the original informal consultations proposal for speed tables would still be relevant as the current options include speed tables, raised crossings and speed cushions."

The School Road assessment comes after the installation of a pedestrian crossing was confirmed in October for the village's Gauchill Road.

Councillor Glen Reid campaigned to make the road safer, particularly for school pupils in the community.

Aberdeenshire Council carried out a review, which included a traffic speed analysis, and the criteria was met for a zebra crossing to be installed, which will be situated between Gauchhill and Melrose Place.

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