A75 safety measures fall short

Community leaders voiced their concerns this week that changes to improve road safety at two accident prone A75 junctions near Newton Stewart do not go far enough.

A Transerv representative told members of Cree Valley Community Council and elected members at a meeting on Monday night that the A712 New Galloway junction and the turn-off at Palnure were to have flashing signs installed that gave drivers information, and red, white and green solar studs embedded in the roadway to help drivers gauge the distance to a turn-off.

Vincent Tait, who is responsible for road safety for the organisation, was enthusiastic about the new system which will see signs telling drivers coming from both directions to ‘slow down’ as they approach, before switching to a ‘turning traffic’ warning if sensors detect a vehicle waiting to turn at the junction.

But members of the community council and elected members said their original request, in writing to the local authority, was for lighting at the junctions. Mr Tait admitted he had not been made aware of this request when given his brief by the council, but budget restraints mean lighting was not an option. He said lights would improve visibility at night but do nothing to improve the issues during the day.

CVCC member David Inglis asked Mr Tait why Palnure was the only junction on a long stretch of the A75 that did not have a filter lane for west bound traffic turning right, when he said, backed by Palnure resident Willie Cannon, the junction was the scene of regular accidents. Mr Tait said they based their proposals on the national guidelines, using police generated statistics, which prioritised fatal accident blackspots, adding that Transerv may not be made aware of minor accidents that take place as they are not always recorded by the police.

Councillor Alistair Geddes branded the A712 junction “not fit for purpose” at present and although he said the community was grateful for the safety measures to come, “they did not go far enough”.

“It’s the cheap option”, commented Willie Cannon”.