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Arbroath crossing saga views to be sought “at earliest opportunity”

Jane Eaton and husband Allan - owners of Keptie Bakery and fellow residents Scott and Annette Downie opposed the choice of crossing location
Jane Eaton and husband Allan - owners of Keptie Bakery and fellow residents Scott and Annette Downie opposed the choice of crossing location

Angus Council wants community views “at the earliest opportunity” after a pedestrian crossing development in Arbroath was put on hold.

The brakes were slammed on after Jane Eaton from Keptie Bakery launched a petition against the project, which was due to start this week.

Work to install the signal-controlled puffin crossing on Keptie Street in Arbroath has now been put on hold pending consultation in the wider area.

A spokesman for Angus Council said: “We are currently looking at the detail of any consultation, but we do want to seek the views of the local community, including residents and businesses, at the earliest opportunity.”

The safety measure was initially approved by councillors for a site further down Keptie Street in 2006 before work was suspended in spring 2007 over concerns about the location.

The issue came into focus when a local pensioner was knocked down by a van as she crossed the street in September 2016, suffering severe injuries, from which she later died in hospital.

Communities committee councillors eventually gave the green light for the work in November and opted for a site on Keptie Street between Helen Street and Garden Street, within yards the accident site.

However, the latest decision to pause was taken after a meeting between local businesses and elected members.

Mrs Eaton warned the installation of the crossing would force the closure of Keptie Bakery, put six members of staff out of work and impact on other businesses.

She said: “Local business owners and residents voiced concerns around the placement of the new crossing and all three options from the original report were discussed along with possible alternative traffic calming measures.

“Pros and cons were covered around all areas. A few elderly local residents came by to express their own concerns.

“They want the crossing to be nearer Garden Street to aid them crossing to the chemist. They take the shortest route which is currently not the safest option.

“The current plans may only be a short distance away to people for whom walking is no problem, however the distance is a great struggle for people with mobility issues, especially the elderly.

“The current plans are on hold while a further report and findings are made then it will be presented to the local councillors for further discussion.

“It sounds like a safe crossing will go ahead but hopefully placed in a better location to aid the most vulnerable users of Keptie Street.”

She is urging people to keep signing the petition which she started despite the crossing being put on hold – stating that every signature will help.

Local councillors said they were determined to ensure that the crossing is installed at an area that maximises road safety and minimises disruption to local residents and businesses.

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