Parents secure half the cost of new pedestrian crossing

The crossing at Echline Primary School
The crossing at Echline Primary School
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TRANSPORT Scotland is under pressure to help fund a pedestrian crossing outside a primary school after the new Queensferry Crossing led to motorists speeding past its gates.

Worried parents at Echline Primary in South Queensferry have been calling for action since traffic on the town’s Bo’ness Road increased following the opening of the new bridge last year.

Now the local neighbourhood partnership, which brings together politicians and community leaders, has allocated £20,000 - half the cost of a pedestrian crossing - from its council-funded budget.

And Lib Dem councillor Kevin Lang said they hoped Transport Scotland would come up with the rest.

He said: “This is a busy road right outside a primary school. We are talking about very young children being asked to cross a dangerous road without a pedestrian crossing in place.

“Almond Neighbourhood Partnership agreed to allocate £20,000 from its budget to meet half the cost of a new pedestrian crossing.

“Now we’re going to try and use that to leverage in the rest of the money from other sources.

“And first on the list is Transport Scotland. This problem has arisen because of the new Queensferry Crossing and the changes to the road layout around South Queensferry. Having created the problem we think they need to contribute to solving it.”

Carol Hand, whose nine-year-old son goes to Echline Primary, said residents had approached police about speeding motorists years ago. “I’d be walking with the wee one in a pram and cars flying past.”

But nothing was done and the problem got noticeably worse with the opening of the Queensferry Crossing.

Six months ago, 1200 people signed a petition calling for traffic calming measures.

Ms Hand said: “We had a meeting with council but nothing was going to be done - they said because there had not been any accidents in recent years nothing could be done.”

But she said the volume and speed of traffic terrified parents whose children had to cross the road to get to school or the playpark.

She said: “There’s a lollipop lady when school is in but sometimes cars don’t even stop for her.

“And you have elderly people trying to get across the road for a bus with cars speeding down. People often panic because they are not far enough across the road with a car approaching.”

She welcomed the £20,000 pledge but said speeds needed to be reduced before a crossing was installed. “Obviously we are really pleased something is going towards it. Hopefully someone else like Transport Scotland will come forward with money too. But safety speed cameras are what is required on that road - people need to be fined for racing up there.”

Transport convener Lesley Macinnes said a “robust assessment” was carried out of the need for traffic calming measures to ensure limited budgets were allocated where needed.

Transport Scotland said they would be happy to meet Almond Neighbourhood Partnership to discuss concerns.