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Safety fears after drivers forced to run red light to let fire engine pass Dundee roadworks

The roadworks
The roadworks and new layout have sparked safety fears.

Dundee roadworks have been branded a safety risk after two drivers had to run red lights to let a fire engine pass.

The roadworks in the Hilltown area are in place to make the streets one-way and widen pavements.

The work between Kinghorne Street and Constitution Road has been ongoing since May 17 and are due to finish next week.

But locals fear even after that, the new layout will not leave enough space for emergency vehicles.

Motorist Alexander Clark said he had to drive through a red light to clear the road for a fire engine when it approached with its sirens on.

Roadworks in Hilltown between Kinghorne Street and Constitution Road.

Alexander said he had to alert the car in front of him to move forward, forcing both cars to go through a red light to let the fire engine go forward.

He said: “The roadworks are atrocious, especially when you’ve got a fire engine right up your backside and there’s no place you could move.

“I couldn’t go on the pavement because there’s a bus shelter on the left and the lights were at red.

“There was a car in front of me and they had to go forward through the red light.

“He was at risk and I was at risk from other cars coming along from the other side of the road because they wouldn’t have seen the fire engine.

“We had to go through the lights and I had to park up on the pavement because of it.”

Spaces For People

The work is part of the Scottish Government’s Spaces For People programme which promotes active travel by creating more walking and cycle space for locals instead of driving.

The pavements in the Hilltown are currently being widened, with new dropped kerbs being added with the aim of making it for pedestrians to cross.

The changes have been described as “temporary” and will be kept under review by Dundee City Council.

The roadworks are temporarily extending the pavement for pedestrians.

Alexander said that the roadworks caused an obstruction to the fire engine, leaving the cars in front where nowhere to go.

He said: “I don’t mind moving aside for emergency services, they guys do a fantastic job, but the fact is there’s nowhere to go.

“If I were to go through the lights and the other car couldn’t see the fire engine coming down, there was just nowhere for that fire engine to move.

“It couldn’t swerve around me so we had to go through these lights and I assume it’ll be the exact same when the roadworks are finished.”

Concerns for new road layout

Alexander has also raised concerns that the new layout, which has now made the road one-way, will also obstruct to emergency vehicles after the roadworks are cleared.

He said: “I don’t know who made the planning but they must be out of their minds as far as I’m concerned.

“To put a two-lane traffic down to one-lane, it’s a busy road.

“If you come down the Hilltown, especially at the weekend, there are a lot of take-aways up there so there are cars parked at either side of the road, it’s really bad.

“It’s just ridiculous because even in normal circumstances once they take away the bollards and that, I don’t think you’ll get a fire engine past there, if there’s a bus on the street, no way.”

It is feared obstructions will occur even after the roadworks have cleared.

Ewan Baird, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s group commander for Perth, Kinross, Angus and Dundee is asking members of the public to be considerate when parking.

He said: “Our highly skilled staff includes emergency response trained drivers who are experienced in navigating many road and traffic challenges.

“We also work in partnership with our local authorities who advise us in advance of any alterations to road systems.

“On rare occasions if our crews are faced with any obstructions they will endeavour to use all alternative routes available to them.

“We would also ask members of the public to always be mindful when parking their vehicles, and to be considerate of any potential obstruction to the emergency services.”

Roadworks set to finish next week

A council spokesman said that the roadworks are due to be completed early next week.

A spokesman for the council said: “The Spaces for People district centre works in the Hilltown area are currently scheduled for completion early next week following some delays with effects of weather on works.

“For roads with one-lane flow systems that are permanent or temporary require drivers to pull over only when safe to do so, in the event that an emergency service vehicle is behind them.

”The traffic engineers will monitor this new road layout and carry out any amendments if required.”

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