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Calls to get Crieff town centre 20mph limit in place quicker amid increased traffic

Calls have been made to speed up the implementation of 20mph limits on the A85 in Crieff.
Calls have been made to speed up the implementation of 20mph limits on the A85 in Crieff.

Council bosses have been urged to speed up moves to slow down traffic in a Perthshire town centre.

Campaigners say an increase in visitors to Crieff this summer has underlined the need for the proposed 20mph restrictions to be introduced on the A85 through the town as a matter of urgency.

‘Delight’ as temporary 20mph signs set for 41 Perthshire towns and villages

Former Crieff Community Council chairman Craig Finlay has asked Perth and Kinross Council’s head of environmental and consumer services, Mark Butterworth for an update on plans to impose the limit, three months after the scheme was approved.

Mr Finlay said Crieff had seen a high volume of pedestrians and traffic using the main retail area since mid-summer due to people having “staycations” instead of traveling abroad.

“It is one month since I wrote to the traffic team asking for an update on the roll-out of Crieff’s measures and still await a response.

“The fact that no work has yet been undertaken in Crieff is disappointing, particularly as we enter the winter period where infection cases are expected to grow.

“I know from experience that people are still stepping out onto the busy and fast-flowing A85 along the High Street area where our footpaths are narrowest.

“Although this has always been an issue, it is now more common due to the need for social distancing.”

Strathearn Conservative councillor Roz McCall said the delay was probably down the coronavirus putting a strain on council resources.

“Whilst I understand the community disappointment expressed by Mr Findlay and I share his concerns regarding road safety and the issues pertaining to the A85, I am also aware of the Covid restrictions that are placed on the council.

“Restrictions apply to the people working within the council and this has meant that the workforce is depleted with people shielding and following personal health guidelines.

“People are being reassigned to frontline departments and the jobs themselves have to be adapted to ensure government guidance is followed so a time delay is perhaps more understandable given the present situation.”

She said she has written to council officers to ask if the Crieff works can be looked into as a matter of urgency and to do what they can to speed up the process.

A local authority spokesperson said: “Perth and Kinross Council recognises communities like Crieff have seen a greater number of visitors this year because of the pandemic, which has created greater demand traffic for calming measures in these areas.

“Under normal circumstances, a new 20mph speed limit speed limit can take up to a year to deliver due to the formal processes that must be followed.

“In Crieff, we must also consult with Transport Scotland because the A85 is trunk road and a safety audit of the proposed work must be carried out.

“Once this has been completed we will carry out work to create the new 20mph speed limit as soon as possible.”

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