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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Crying out for 20mph zone

REGARDING the report headlined Speed limits to be reduced in your edition of November 1, it is regrettable that Transport Scotland has so far failed to address the issue of a 20mph scheme for Langholm High Street, the case for which is put convincingly in another article in the same edition.

Thankfully, the campaign will continue to achieve a safer and more pleasant environment for all users of the town centre.

Of immediate concern, however, is another fact within the report which readers may have missed. In one part of Langholm Transport Scotland is proposing that the speed limit goes up.

I refer to the section of the A7 between Whitshiels and Kilngreen. Currently, this is covered by the 30mph limit. Transport Scotland is proposing that this is increased to 40mph.

The fact that this stretch includes the Ewes Bridge (or sawmill bridge) junction will make, in my view, for a very significantly increased danger of accidents occurring. I highly suspect that Transport Scotland has made only a cursory inspection of this junction on a quiet day and has dismissed it as no more than the driveway of a private estate.

If so, it will have seriously underestimated the number of users of this junction on a regular basis, estate staff and residents, walkers, sportspeople, visitors to the Armstrong museum and delivery vehicles, and it will have taken no account at all of the very large numbers of vehicles indeed which enter and exit when big events are taking place during the year on the Castleholm.

An increase in the speed limit will cause danger. For example, stationary vehicles on the A7 from the north waiting to turn right into the estate will have other vehicles coming around the bend behind them at 40mph and probably more.

And, worst of all, for people emerging from the estate to turn right into the town. This is a hazardous manoeuvre even now, with very little forewarning of traffic coming around the bend. Henceforth, as Transport Scotland’s proposal stands, this traffic will be going even faster.

I would urge anyone who shares my concerns on this score to write to Transport Scotland seeking an abandonment of this proposal and the retention of the 30mph limit.

In particular, I should hope that the organisations behind the various events on Castleholm will be sufficiently concerned for the safety of people attending those events that they will wish to object to the proposal.

Please write to Director of Trunk Road and Bus Operations, Transport Scotland, Glasgow, G4 0HF, referring to the A7 speed limit review – section 19.

Alan Williams

Laversdale House

Charles Street

Langholm

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