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Dog injured in road accident is latest victim of Perth’s ‘car culture’, owner claims

Felicity Graham and her dog, Max.

A dog owner has claimed her pet “miraculously escaped death” after being struck in a Perth car park.

Max, a Springer Spaniel and Collie mix (Sprollie) was taken to the vets after the accident at the Bell’s Sport Centre car park, at around 5.30pm on Thursday.

Felicity Graham dog owner and convener of Perth Area Living Streets (PALS) campaign group, wrote a scathing open letter to Perth city centre councillors following the incident.

The PALs group campaigns for low-traffic, low-speed and pollution-free streets.

Open letter

In the letter Felicity said her pet was the latest victim of Perth’s “car culture” which she suggested has been well supported by city councillors.

“My dog made this awful sound when he was hit, I couldn’t even describe it,” she said.

“Max couldn’t get up and the guy got out of the car and explained he hadn’t seen him.

“Our dog had gotten out of the boot, but that car was going too fast for the surroundings when Max was struck.

Ms Graham, with dog Max who she says is the latest victim of "car culture" in Perth
Ms Graham has been vocal about a need for change to tackle pollution in the heart of Perth.

“Thankfully his injuries aren’t life threatening, I think this incident typifies that we need a complete overhaul of the way traffic moves in and around the city.

“At the moment, everything is determined by business, businesses complain about spaces for customers and active travel measures are cancelled.”

Within the letter Ms Graham stated she and her children had been “driven at so often in Perth” before highlighting previous incidents she has experienced on Victoria Street, Charles Street and Scott Street.

She believes something must be done to reduce traffic in the city centre to prevent more accidents.

‘Lack of progress’

She added: “I just don’t think there is any vision to tackle the pollution, noise and congestion and this is becoming more normalized.

“I’ve addressed that in the open letter, whilst highlighting that the environment that has been created is the responsibility of the ward councillors.”

Perth city centre councillor Peter Barrett said he sympathised with some of the points  Ms Graham made in her open letter.

Peter Barrett
Councillor Peter Barrett.

He added: “I’ve spoken to Felicity in the past about some of these matters that she has mentioned.

“I’m sorry to hear about the incident involving her dog, I hope he makes a full recovery.

“In connection with the open letter I do sympathise with a number of points that were mentioned.

“The council does need to be much more proactive about how it supports active travel and what road space is given to pedestrians and cyclists.

“We’ve gone through the whole of the pandemic and there isn’t a decent link between the North and the South Inch for cyclists.

“There is certainly more work to be done.”

Disappointment

Fellow ward councillor, Eric Drysdale said he had also corresponded with Felicity, in connection with a number of matters regarding pollution and active travel.

He added that the progress for the active travel agenda over the last four years had been “disappointing”.

“I do have sympathy with Felicity regarding her dog and I hope he makes makes a full recovery,” he said.

“I have corresponded with Felicity previously regarding some of the points within her letter.

“The progress of active travel agenda in Perth City in particular has been disappointing.”

‘Distressing’

A spokesman for Perth and Kinross Council added: “We are sorry to hear of this unfortunate incident and hope Max makes a speedy recovery.

“This was clearly a distressing experience.

“We would advise that anyone who experiences or witnesses instances of speeding or dangerous driving should report them to Police Scotland.”

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