Wheelchair using MS sufferer seeks safe crossing

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By Mark Davey

A woman confined to a wheelchair by multiple sclerosis has spoken out about the need for safe Campbeltown road crossings.

Helen-Mary Martin, 57, who has used a wheelchair for at least 10 years, told the Courier last week: ‘We need proper traffic light controlled or zebra crossings by the Co-op, Aqualibrium and the Royal Hotel.

‘On the corner by the Royal there should really be a traffic light controlled crossing.

‘I also have restricted sight but luckily I have a carer when I am out.

‘For a blind person it would be specially hard.

‘In cities where there is a bobbly bit of pavement people think that is where it is safe to cross but that is not the case in Campbeltown.’

Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara said: ‘Safety is absolutely paramount for every single pedestrian, Helen included.

‘I know there is an assessment and liaison underway.

‘There are various guidelines, that have to be adhered to, but surely that’s not an insurmountable challenge to making sure there is a safe way for everyone to cross the road.’

Councillor Rory Colville added: ‘This particular crossing point needs an urgent review, the road markings seem absurd given it is next to two junctions and entrances to two businesses.

‘Further to the Courier once again highlighting these concerns I will pursue Transport Scotland for its assessment of a permanent solution.’

‘There needs to be something in place especially for wheel chair users and for the public in general,’ commented Councillor John Armour, ‘The road as a main thoroughfare is busy most of the time and as such makes it almost impossible at times to cross.

‘I support any measure to have a crossing/crossings installed.’

Ms Martin said that there should be proper road markings wherever there is a dropped kerb.

‘There is nothing in Campbeltown such as double yellow lines by dropped kerbs to show that cars should not park there,’ said Ms Martin, ‘Sometimes I have to travel some distance on the road in my wheelchair to find somewhere to cross.’

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell said: ‘There needs to be some urgency applied to this by Transport Scotland as the lack of an accessible crossing and the slow attention to it is unacceptable.

‘I will raise the matter with Transport Scotland at the earliest opportunity.’

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: ‘We completed a traffic survey in Autumn 2018 to assess the need for crossing points along the A83 in Campbeltown.

‘While there is no accident history at this location, Transport Scotland will continue its assessment work and undertake a consultation exercise with local stakeholders in the new year.

‘We want to better understand the lived experiences of disabled people who are crossing at this location, which will help inform consideration of possible next steps.’

Helen-Mary Martin and her career Wilma Campbell by the beige coloured road which marks a crossing in Campbeltown. 25_c48crossing01_Helen-Mary_Martin