A £30,000 pedestrian crossing has been given the green light for a “nightmare” Angus road – after a tiny response to a community consultation.
Just three people commented on the plan to site the lights-controlled puffin crossing on Arbroath’s Westway.
It will be built near the Arbirlot Road junction where a lollipop person already helps youngsters across what is one of the town’s busiest peak-time roads.
Councillors welcomed the safety measure, but criticised the online-only consultation which drew the paltry local feedback.
Just one of the three responses was in full support of the chosen site.
Council rules out hands-free crossing
Another urged Angus Council to consider a sensor or foot-operated crossing to prevent button-touching during the pandemic.
Officials considered the idea, but ruled it out after looking at the experience of neighbouring Perth and Kinross.
Councillors there approved hands-free traffic signals in the first scheme of its kind in Scotland but ditched the idea after less than four months.
The Perth switch generated complaints automated signals were causing traffic hold-ups, congestion and more air pollution from idling vehicles.
It led to a petition being launched to keep the new system in place.
This has been a nightmare crossing for years.
Arbroath councillor Brenda Durno
Angus infrastructure chief Ian Cochrane said: “We looked at the technology element.
“Perth and Kinross have done some work around not having to touch the controls, but that’s something that they have reviewed.
“This will give cover at times of the day when the school crossing patroller isn’t there.”
Disappointment over poor level of local feedback
Arbroath Independent councillor Lois Speed said: “I’m glad this is happening but it’s disappointing there were only three public comments.”
Arbroath West and Letham councillor Richard Moore said: “I don’t have an argument with the location but I don’t think the consultation was adequate.
“I’m not satisfied that social media and the Angus Council website is enough,” said the Liberal Democrat.
“Coming out of lockdown people will have a lot of things on their mind and checking to see what’s happening with the council isn’t one of them.”
He said he was concerned the crossing lights would shine through windows of nearby homes.
Officials have promised to look at the situation and consider any necessary mitigation measures.
Roads and transport boss Walter Scott said: “Unfortunately, given the timescale and Covid we were more restricted than we would like to have been.
The local feeling we had picked up on was that it was fairly obviously where people thought it should go.
Angus roads and transport official Walter Scott
“We had discussions with the community council and were well intended in going out to additional consultation.
“The local feeling we had picked up on was that it was fairly obviously where people thought it should go.”
Arbroath SNP councillor Brenda Durno said: “It is great we are finally getting it.
“This has been a nightmare crossing for years.
“More children will be walking to school and we’re regenerating the whole area there so let’s make it safer.”