Speed humps debate divides community

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RESIDENTS of Fraserburgh’s Kirkton Road area still remain divided over proposals to install road humps to reduce traffic speesd.

The split views follow the recent Banff and Buchan Area Committee meeting when Councillor Ian Tait’s motion to stop speed humps being laid was defeated by one vote.

One resident, who did not wish to be named told the Herald: “I was delighted with the outcome of the council meeting, this was the result I hoped we would get.

“The speed the motorists are driving on the Strichen Road service road is disgraceful. Some were monitored at 68mph on this road - the speed monitors do not lie.

“Putting in flashing lights or reducing the speed limit would not alter the situation. The only solution to speeding on this road is speed humps or a speed camera.”

But other residents vehemently oppose speed humps throughout the estate and congregated outside the Council Chambers in advance of the recent meeting. They created bearing the slogans “Spend money on salt not humps”, “Don’t ignore the voters” “Spend money wisely” and “No to potholes and humps”.

One resident said: “The vast majority of our residents do not want speed humps. We obtained over 300 signatures on two petitions from residents and in the area of the estate covered by our petition approximately 90% of residents are against these. The issue that some irresponsible drivers are using Strichen Road service road as a way to overtake vehicles travelling along Strichen Road could have been sorted by the police. Furthermore, I would not have objected to speed humps being erected on just the service road either but to have the whole estate covered in speed humps will only divert traffic along Corby Drive and Beacon Drive, as these will have the least amount of humps.

“It will also mean that if we are hit regularly with heavy snow in winter the snow ploughs won’t get in to clear the estate. I thought it was disgraceful that the only councillors who listened to the residents wishes were councillors Topping and Tait. None of the other councillors would even speak to us before the meeting.

“This is a local issue and should have been decided locally. There was no democracy in their decision at all.”

Councillor Tait explained he was disappointed with the outcome of the vote, telling the Herald: “I would like to thank the large number of residents who managed to come down to support me in my motion to stop the speed humps.

“I know that many others would have come down too if they had not had other commitments. It was an impressive display of local feeling .

It is a tragic result for local democracy that the wishes of these residents and the other 300 residents who are against the humps were ignored.

“The officers can proceed with the work as soon as practicable for them because they have committee approval. However, at this time, the humps are still delayed awaiting the Ombudsman’s decision on the complaint lodged in March that the initial committee decision was flawed.

“Making a complaint is still open to any resident who feels aggrieved that they have suffered an injustice by a decision of the committee and that is a matter for their judgement. Council rules state that I can only bring this matter back to Committee after six months from the last debate which would be after 14 June 2011 - the residents can rest assured that if the work to lay the humps has still not started by that time for whatever reason, I will bring it back again to try to stop these appalling things being laid down.

“I know this is not the best of times of the year to be thinking of these things but the residents will have to live with these humps every day if they go down and every effort should be made to stop them now.

“As I pointed out at Committee, we are all concerned about safety but there are ways of dealing with these issues which do not involve punishing the whole estate for the transgressions of a few.

“This is to my mind a classic example of inefficient spending of taxpayers money by Aberdeenshire Council, there is no need to spend £25,000 on humps when other solutions are possible.”