Residents petition for traffic calming measures on High Askomil

The fact there are no pavements adjacent to some properties makes exiting perilous, claim High Askomil residents.
The fact there are no pavements adjacent to some properties makes exiting perilous, claim High Askomil residents.

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A petition with 50 signatures calling for the introduction of traffic calming measures on Campbeltown’s High Askomil has been sent to Argyll and Bute Council and Police Scotland.

Residents of the street claim they are suffering ‘ever-increasing anxiety’ due to speeding traffic which, they claim, continues to ‘menace, threaten life and lim, and cause criminal damage’.

They say their vehicles, property walls and drain connections have been damaged – usually by drivers who fail to stop and report any collisions – and there have been numerous near misses for pedestrians, particularly those with prams and buggies, when entering and leaving their premises.

The ‘main hotspot’ is said to be the first 600 metres of High Askomil, from the fork at Low Askomil, but once the petition started, it became clear other residents along High Askomil shared similar concerns.

The petition, which includes representation from almost all households on High Askomil, has been extended to include the entire length of the street.

The document reads: ‘Speeding is a regular occurrence and the residents are now approaching the end of their tether, fearing an inevitability of a more serious incident if appropriate traffic calming measures (traffic management) are not introduced to curb this menace.

‘We believe a reduction of the speed limit from the current 30mph to 20mph along High Askomil is an absolute necessity and a positive step towards decreasing the danger posed by speeding vehicles.

‘However, due to the fact we estimate some vehicles reach speeds in excess of 60mph in the current 30mph limit, the residents consider that the reduced speed limit in itself would prove inadequate, particularly in hotspots, and should be accompanied by physical traffic calming measures, generally defined as those which introduce either vertical or horizontal deflection to vehicles as they pass along a road.

‘These traffic control methods – for example, road humps, speed cushions, speed tables and chicanes – have been shown to generate substantial reductions in vehicle speeds and accidents and are widespread in many towns and cities throughout Scotland and the UK.’

David Canning, one of the concerned residents, told the Courier: ‘I feel strongly that the council and police need to engage with the residents/residents’ representatives and hear and discuss issues to get a deeper and fuller understanding of the problems, concerns and challenges the residents are faced with, rather than simply follow their normal protocols internally and in isolation.

‘If a study is repeated in isolation without consultation and a collaborative approach to gather hard facts with the residents, we believe the outcome will not reflect, nor take into account, the circumstances, stress and fear of many residents which inevitably has and is affecting their well-being and quality of life.’

Inspector Paul Collins told the Courier that roads policing officers met with representatives from the local authority, which has overall responsibility for the implementation of any measures, on Tuesday.

He added: ‘A number of speed surveys and assessments have been undertaken recently and the information has been fed back in. There should be further consultation between all parties, including residents, and this can be done via the [Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands Area] Community Planning Group at the next meeting.’

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson added that, following the initial discussions with Police Scotland’s road policing unit, arrangements are being made for speed monitoring equipment to be put in place.

‘This equipment will provide a speed survey which will initially be made available to police and council officers who will formulate recommendations based on the results,’ said the spokesperson.

‘It is our proposal that the petition, together with results of the speed survey and any recommendations that may come from that process, will be put forward to a future meeting of the Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands Area Committee.’