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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

Slower traffic would send out better message

WE REFER to the letter published on November 29, “YouTube video must not be allowed to damage town”.

We are grateful to Mrs Sanderson for highlighting the dreadful traffic conditions in Langholm High Street.

Health and care professionals know that elderly people feel restricted by busy, noisy streets, especially heavy lorries travelling at speed.

When an older person’s sight or hearing becomes impaired or if in need of a walking aid, it becomes harder to remain independent. One major objective of Dumfries and Galloway council’s Putting You First programme is to help the aging population to stay active for as long as possible.

Not only elderly people but also families with young children find the simple activity of walking to the shops or visiting a friend can be difficult because of intimidating dangerous traffic. This is made even worse when combined with the narrow, unsafe pavements.

There is a growing demand in the community for safer, slower speeds and this clearly dovetails with the council’s aims as well as Langholm’s efforts to regenerate the High Street.

There are many justifications for 20mph limits and how this can benefit the community. It is not only about the reduction of risk and danger which comes from slower speeds, it is also about calmer, quieter, less polluted streets for townspeople which will enhance our quality of life while giving encouragement to business and tourism.

We are not aware of any sensible argument in favour of 40-tonne trucks hurtling through our streets at 30mph. Our High Street was never designed for anything like the volume, speed and size of vehicles we are forced to tolerate today.

Unfortunately, the priority of Transport Scotland and their highway engineers is the efficient movement of goods and vehicles. This conflicts with the needs and wellbeing of the town’s residents. In a civilised High Street we should all be able to move around safely and easily on foot.

What is damaging the town is the pretence that the dangerous intimidating traffic is fine. 20mph limits should be a foundation for the regeneration of the High Street.

It will put Langholm on the map in the best possible way, showing we are a community which cares for all its members, including the most vulnerable. This is the kind of initiative which will really encourage business and draw in visitors and tourists.

George Ferguson, Raymond Baird, Bill Telfer, D Cockburn, A Williams, Andrew Scott, P Gunn, J Scott, J Noonan, K Durnford, Betty Little, King Chung, L Smith, A Jamieson, Andrea Law, A Dickson, S Graham, N Adams, Agnes Hunter, Jean Murphy, Nancy Little, M Musialowski, Mina Hewitt

Langholm

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