A retired police officer is “amazed” pedestrians are still being forced to cross a treacherous stretch of the A9.
George Black, who chairs Luncarty, Redgorton and Moneydie Community Council, has made a renewed call for a footbridge over the dual carriageway.
“Personally speaking, and previously professionally speaking, walking across a 70mph dual carriageway at road level is dangerous,” he said.
“It goes without saying.”
Pedestrians have to cross four lanes of fast traffic to get to and from the bus stops at Redgorton south of Luncarty on the trunk road.
Cross Tay Link Road
The community council called for a footbridge over the A9 when the Cross Tay Link Road (CTLR) went through the planning process.
Despite raising safety concerns, they were “generally in favour” of the £118 million scheme.
But the finalised plans do not include a footbridge at Luncarty.
Instead pedestrians face “significant diversions” if they prefer not to take their chances with 70mph traffic while crossing the A9.
A safer option is being provided. An overbridge is being built over the A9 as part of the CTLR south of Denmarkfield.
However, it means a diversion of more than a mile for those who would normally cross at Redgorton.
And just a third of a mile south of the bus stops is where walkers and ramblers are currently able to cross the dual carriageway
This crossing point is being closed off in line with aims to minimise ‘at grade’ pedestrian crossings. ‘At grade’ means those with neither a footbridge nor underpass.
It links core paths on either side of the A9. As a result, walkers are likely to use the Luncarty crossing instead – a diversion of around half a mile.
Locals raised concerns about the loss of the crossing linking the paths at Denmarkfield during the CTLR consultation.
Cross Tay Link Road bosses said in response: “It is the council’s view that
pedestrian crossing facilities are being improved as part of the CTLR project.
“However it is acknowledged that there are significant diversions for a low number of pedestrians who currently cross the A9 at the Denmarkfield junction.”
Mr Black said: “Why not have a bridge put in to make it safe for people who either do use, or were using, both crossings?”
He added that major development taking place north of Perth, and the opening of Bertha Park High School in 2019, made the need for a footbridge even more pressing.
“If you want to build houses in Luncarty south, and you want to put industrial units in there, and our kids are going to be using the school at Bertha Park, then why don’t we have a footbridge?
“There is supposed to be provision for safe crossing points. Personally speaking, a safe crossing point when there are four lanes of traffic doing 70mph isn’t at the same level if you’re on foot, it’s 20 feet above it.
“That’s what we’ve asked for.
“I’m amazed that we’re still forcing people to cross the road.”
‘No plans’ for bridge
However, there are no plans for a footbridge on the horizon.
Conservative councillor Angus Forbes is convener of Perth and Kinross Council’s environment and infrastructure committee.
He said: “We are not aware of any plans to install a new footbridge across the A9 at Luncarty, or requests for one.
“There is no scope within the road boundary to upgrade the existing pedestrian facilities.”
Trunk road operator Bear Scotland said it was not aware of any safety concerns on the A9 south of Luncarty,
“Bear Scotland currently has no proposed changes planned in the area,” said a spokesperson.
“We’d be happy to hear from the community should they wish to detail their concerns.”