Thursday, January 05, 2012

Altonburn Road "Access only"

This could be the new look on Altonburn Road and at other entry points to the rat-run that many drivers use to avoid the traffic lights on the A96. The subject of drivers avoiding the jams and driving at inappropriate speeds has surfaced at West CC meetings before but last night a practical solution was suggested
The proposal by Bill Young at the West CC received unanimous backing from his councillor colleagues. The idea is to place mandatory "access only" signs at the junction of Altonburn Road and Pig Street. Other signs would be placed on the Seafield Street brae and just past the Seabank Gardens/Young Street junctions on Manse Rd, Seabank Rd and Albert Street.

The West are to ask the Highland Council to look into putting up these signs that would prohibit any vehichles that were simply using this area as a detour. The Westies are also going to write formally to River and Suburban CCs seeking their support. Jimmy Ferguson wondered if such signs would be enforceable but Bill said anything with a red circle would be mandatory. Seonaid Armstrong was also concerned about wildlife she said:
"On the Altonburn Road I've seen a couple of red squirrels crossing from the Newton which also ties in with all of this because they cross between the Newton Hotel and the pines on the Golf Course."
A member of the public then said that she had seen a dead red squirrel outside marine appartments. Seonaid then continued:
"If Joe Telfer can get signs up for his ducks and swans and all the rest of it, I think a red squirrel is also protected."
Dick Youngson, also present on the behalf of Suburban CC, told the meeting of how a meeting with an official of Highland Council in an attempt to get a "pedestrians on road" sign on Sandown Farm Lane had gone. "They are quite amenable but nothing has happened," he said.

UPDATE: New poll in sidebar - Do you support the proposals?


joe said...

I hope your "access only" signs have more success than the one we have for Douglas street! Taxi's and other locals use it as a short cut all the time. So much for mandatory signs ! Can I also point out that the Ducks and Swans are not mine, they are as wild as the Squirrels ! I also paid for the signs at the island and the harbour entrance.

red squirrel said...

How about sentry boxes with armed guards, gates, searchlights etc.

These are public roads which having paid my road tax I'm free to drive on when I like

I fully support signs warning about pedestrians but not ones that try and intimidate drivers

Bert said...

What a load of nonsense! A bunch of people with too much time on their hands trying to make their empty lives somewhat worthwhile. And no, putting up a sign with a red circle does not make it enforcable, there is this thing called LAW!

Anonymous said...

still parking on the pavement then

fishertoon loon said...

Here in the fishertown we often get drivers cutting through due to the poor access to the A96 at Harbour Street, so could we have Access Only signs erected as well please. We're more in need than the west end as the majority of our streets are narrow and don't have any pavements

On the wildlife front young gulls are killed here every year so could we ask for warning signs to join Seonaid's squirrels and Joe's swans?

Anonymous said...

I think we need a legal definition of "access". It would be interesting to see how many residents of Seabank and Manse Road use the "rat run" themselves !

Anonymous said...

we all pay road tax,so why should we be denied using the road,get rid of the traffic lights that are causing the hold ups,especialy the ones at broadhill,i have never seen the arrow turn green for cars to turn right to merryton in all the years the lights have been there.and as for joe telfer,no more public monies should be spent on him or his swans,if he wants to look after them,let him get a tent and camp out to see they are safe

Graisg said...

@anon 10.47 It is an old picture revamped for the occasion

@anon 7.33 There you have it from the horse's mouth. Joe Telfer pays for his own signs.

don't get me started said...

Rubbing my eyes and making sure that it wasn't April 1st.

Can the West CC really be seriously considering creating a vehicle no go area. These are public roads and I'm sure there are many thousands of residents all over the UK who would like to resolve the road outside their house being a 'rat run' by limiting access, but I say again, these are public roads
More cars on our roads means more traffic, but apart from cars going past homes on the Altonburn Road I seem to remember another critique was that of speeding, maybe some traffic calming measures would resolve that?
What if each and ever Nairn CC put forward the idea of restricted road access for their areas, do we really want to give the message that cars are not welcome in Nairn?
If, and it is an if, the Altonburn Road is being used by drivers travelling through Nairn, then that is taking cars off the A96 and giving those residents that live alongside that road some slight relief
The majority of us use cars so how about us sharing the fallout, and whilst I'm on my soapbox when oh when are certain residents along the proposed no go road going to stop blatantly parking on the pavement, or are they just above the law anyway?

Anonymous said...

If you live in manse road ,are you saying that person cann't drive down Young street to the links. Rubbish and unenforcable do you define access only,,,

secret squirrel said...

I've seen many dead creatures on the A96. Under the logic used by one person of the West council does this mean it too should have limited access?

Anonymous said...

Never saw planning permission for Joes signs.

Graisg said...

@anon 9.46 This observer is not a planning expert but believes that for certain signs all you need is the permission of the local authority.

Anonymous said...

This reads as 'I live in a big posh house worth loads of money and I don't won't common oiks driving past'

Well move somewhere else, I'm sure you'd be welcome

Graisg said...

Anon 9:56 - not prepared to go there with such specifics re Douglas Street.

Anon 9:54 The rat-run in question is also dangerous for anyone trying to cross Marine Road to the Links and folk coming out of the junction of Cumming Street (limited visibilty) have to contend with drivers still going quite fast in a hurry to reconnect with the A96 so it would not only be folk in the "posh houses" that would benefit from reduced traffic. That is to say if anyone would actually obey the signs?

This observer wonders what "posh" actually means these days. You can see houses in other parts of Nairn that are obviously worth more than many "West End" properties.

Anonymous said...

Jolly good idea. I agree with red squirrel - let's have sentry boxes, guards, searchlights... it's the only way to keep those frightful commoners away from one's property.

Disgusted etc said...

I'm absolutely appalled and ashamed by the attitude of the West Community Council asking for restricted access for car drivers

I live in the proposed restricted area and would be very happy for the Gurn to publish my name and address for use by any driver wishing to still use Altonburn Road should this come into force; you can just say you are visiting me!

I would like to make it clear that I don't want to live in a ghetto but it seems the west community council wants to create one

I have lived and worked in places around the world where such restricted areas exist and I have no wish to live in one in Nairn. These are sterile areas, devoid of any community

I sometimes notice traffic of an evening but at most I would say this lasts around 30 minutes. Do my neighbours really want to exclude the world for this reason?

What next, ask plane companies not to fly overhead, golfers to use soft balls, sea defences so we can't hear the waves crashing

I wouldn't mind but nearly everyone uses a car and therefore drives past someone else's house on their travels. How on earth can some people have such a selfish NIMBY attitude?

A little late, but peace on earth and goodwill to all men, unless you are a member of the west community council that is

Anonymous said...

" The rat-run in question is also dangerous for anyone trying to cross Marine Road to the Links and folk coming out of the junction of Cumming Street (limited visibility)"

The Gurn published some information with regard road accidents in Nairn and most of these were on or near the A96. All roads are potentially dangerous and both drivers and pedestrians should always take the upmost care. The only resolve that would make matters better is not for roads to have limited access but for there to be less cars on the road. Blaming rat runs as the cause of accidents is not the answer as traffic is just pushed elsewhere
I agree that the exit from Cummings Street is a difficult one, but this is at anytime and perhaps needs looking at so it is less dangerous.
A general observation is that at evening rush hour it is often very difficult to exit the fishertown. Closure or limited use of the Altonburn would not solve this issue
Too many cars on the road and everyone wants their area to be free from them

Anonymous said...

To have such an extensive "access only" road network would be totally unenforcible. You might as well include the back road from the A96 at the Delnies wood caravan park back into the town via the B9091 Balblair Rd while you're at it. The solution is to better manage the traffic in the town centre. Oh and that might just include a bypass. By the way I would imagine that the local residents will thank the council for turning what are currently public roads into private ones.

Eastender said...

The west end not posh? What other part of Nairn would start a campaign to keep people out

Oldnairn said...

Should Auldearn CC also start a restricted access campaign? They have suffered increased through traffic since the new traffic lights on the A96 and speeding is an issue as well, and unlike the West end of Nairn they also have a school with young children trying to cross the busy road

The West CC have effectively opened a debate on traffic, but why should they have the right to exclude traffic if that isn't passed onto other areas as well, and that includes those who live alongside the A96

The root cause of traffic problems in recent months is the additional traffic light on the A96. Trying to exclude traffic from an area does not tackle this issue, only pushes it elsewhere e.g. through Auldearn which makes the West CC even more NIMBY

growtosow said...

no more signs please just a by pass will do, not that many years back it was a level crossing at gollanfield can we move on now, the a96 road through the town seems to get worse all the time this is with regard to the amount of traffic that use it the road surface again needs looked at.

Anonymous said...

Are the West declaring UDI and setting up their own little enclave.

Maybe 'people' were right after all said...

There is an old fashioned perception amongst some people that residents who live in the West end of towns (not just Nairn) are 'posh' people who think they are better than the rest of us (one I don't agree with but many people do). Well, unfortunately, the West CC have gone some way to confirm this perception with this latest suggestion.

Lamplighter said...

What's wrong with the community in Nairn?

It's curious, and slightly worrying, how quickly this subject has generated an outburst of prejudiced comment about posh people, oiks, commoners, etc. If such remarks had instead been about "white people" or "black people" they would have been as politically unacceptable as Diane Abbott's Twitter.

The issue is about sensible traffic management. That's why we have motorways, dual carriageways, one-way streets, cul de sacs, pedestrian zones and other such arrangements: to meet the different needs of long-haul vehicles, local deliveries, neighbourhood trips, etc.

The current debate is not about wealth, idleness, posh houses, dead squirrels or soft golf balls. It's about whether Highland Council and Transport Scotland are making sensible decisions on the A96. Adding more lights is clearly not helping, because....

Through-traffic needs to be able to transit Nairn with minimum risk and delay (that's why folk favour a bypass). It makes no sense for such traffic to end up weaving down the Altonburn Road and through the back streets and speeding along Marine Road in an attempt to beat the jams at the lights. That's not sensible for the drivers themselves; and it increases the risk to the local folk, pedestrians, children (and yes, even pets and squirrels!) who use these side-streets.

So let's have less of the chip-on-shoulder prejudice and a bit more thoughtful dialogue about the real issue, which is how the growing volume of traffic through the town can be managed safely and efficiently for the benefit of all the folk who live, walk and drive here and also those who are simply trying to pass through.

Private, no admittance said...

I would suggest that the West CC take the affected public roads that they want restricted access to into private ownership, pay for their upkeep and also make a contribution to their policing to enforce their no access policy

One Community Council in Nairn, I think the west just drove a coach and horses through that idea (on their private road of course!)

It's who you know said...

Why am I driving along this road officer? I'm just on my way to see Cllr Seonaid Armstrong with regard setting signs to protect the red squirrel population of the area

Anonymous said...

"So let's have...more thoughtful dialogue about the real issue, which is how the growing volume of traffic through the town can be managed safely and efficiently for the benefit of all the folk who live, walk and drive here and also those who are simply trying to pass through"


Anonymous said...

Come back Graham,all is forgiven.?

Anonymous said...

Lamplighter, had Nairn West CC asked for a debate with other CC's with the subject 'traffic problems in Nairn' then I would agree with you, but they didn't. Instead they are asking to close one route which rightly or wrongly serves to remove traffic from the A96 and are asking other Nairn CC's to support them, this is hardly true community spirit and I can fully understand as to why this has clearly upset many people. It smacks of NIMBY no matter what excuse is put behind their stance, and has managed to get people's backs up

Graisg said...

To be fair to the West CC, Dick Youngson Chair of suburban was present and asked for his views, likewise Mike Henderson of River CC was there along with former River CC member John Dolan (representing the Nairnshire on this occasion) and raised the dangers at Cumming Street - Mike was there in a personal capacity however.

Anonymous said...

I am a resident of Manse road, a born & bred nairnite and I am appalled at the West CC for their vigilante attitude towards who can and cant go where they wish on our public roads.

I am not a supporter of the community councils sorry to say, it seems to me that all they do is brainstorm their way from one meet to the next using the community word to try and get their own wants and demands met.

I just dont get the "rat run" term that Bill Young uses to justify his opinion, I regularly chose to drive to work morning & evening along Altonburn rd on my commute to work from Manse Road, who are the CC's to say I cant do what I have done for the past 25 years..!

Community Councils get real, your just making fools of yourselves and misusing the CC's mandate.

I will stick with the democraticaly elected Highland Councilors when it comes to decision making, rightly on wrongly but at least democraticaly.

Manse Road resident & nairnite..

West end person said...

To be fair your report of the meeting states that the West CC are going to formally write to two other Nairn CC's presumably hoping to gain support for their road blocking scheme. I would hope that other CC's see the wider effect of closing off a road to the general public and the impact it might have on their area. Closing a road is just going to make the traffic worse in other places and not resolve the real issue. To my mind this is a mean and a non public spirited action and might will cause extra traffic going through Auldearn, is this acceptable?
There are also other 'rat runs' that people use, should these not be addressed as well if we are going to support road closures

Boy racer said...

If the will is really there to start road closures then might I suggest that Marine Road is the one to choose, as this would also stop people turning down Manse Rd, Seabank Rd, and Albert St to avoid some of the A96 traffic lights, and no saying 'I'm on the way to the Braeval officer'!

Anonymous said...

Lamplighter missed the blatant favouritism shown towards red squirrels. Despite all being God's creatures I bet if they were grey in colour few would care very much

Toon Loon said...

Disgusted@10.45am is an appalled resident of the West End, and Anonymous@4.29pm lives in Manse Road. Both are long on insults, critical of community councils ("vigilantes"), and short on positive suggestions. Clearly neither was at the recent Nairn West meeting. Their views would earn more respect if they exercised their democratic rights and cared to go to meetings rather than making intemperate rants from the sidelines.

The bottom line is that we have a growing traffic problem in and around Nairn. No point in wishing idealistically for "fewer cars" (that won't happen).

Many in the local community have raised various issues:
- People at Tradespark worry about the Sandown junction (where a cyclist was killed);
- schoolkids run a risk where they cross at Duncan Drive, where schoolkids cross;
- Fishertown folk have problems coming out at Cumming St and Harbour Street/The Brae, where there have been some near misses;
- Auldearn was upset when a HGV taking the unofficial bypass killed someone's pet dog;
- those who live and work along the Croy-Cawdor-Geddes road are beginning to count the fatalities as this backroad becomes an alternative to the A96.

The general response to all these has been sympathy from the community (but no official action). Now Nairn West CC points out another of the symptoms of the same problem, raises one possible idea and seeks discussion with other CCs, and all hell breaks loose! Lamplighter is right about local prejudice, and it's not pretty.

There may be many ways of easing the problems (or there may be none). Oldnairn@11.42am says it needs an open debate. It would be more public-spirited of those who don't like the idea of roadsigns to come up with other, useful and realistic ideas. Indulging in name-calling is a cheap shot, and doesn't get the community any closer to solutions.

Anonymous said...

I'm coming to this subject late in the day judging by the number of comments already made.

I would like to call for the disbandment of the current Nairn West Community Council, and for all members who voted for the Access Only road to be disqualified from holding posts ever again, and for a new election to be held

The actions of this group is calling for what in effect is a road closure is way beyond any sensible remit that a community council should hold, and I would suggest that through such poor and frankly crass judgement current members of the West CC should be utterly ashamed of their actions

Calling for the closure of public roads is beyond the absurd and is certainly not being community minded

I hope that the members are suitably sanctioned but would prefer their immediate resignation

Shameful behaviour, we deserve much better from community councillors and thankfully there are those in other CC's in Nairn who are shining examples and who I must thank for their sterling work

It is little wonder that there are so many negative comments posted here. The West CC have managed to alienate most of the wider Nairn community

calm down dear said...

Toon Loon, IF the West CC are only concerned about the speed with which some vehicles travel along the Altonburn Road then the obvious solution would be some form of traffic calming, however, I can only assume that the West's objection is against ALL through traffic, and their 'quiet' street being degraded to a rat run, hence their suggestion of Access Only as a solution.

People have a democratic right to make comments about meetings whether they attend or not. Non attendance does not belittle their comments

I'm in agreement that debate is needed and it's a shame the the West CC didn't call for such discussion rather than decide to act first and perhaps talk later

growtosow said...

People have a democratic right to make comments about meetings whether they attend or not. Non attendance does not belittle their comments

I'm in agreement that debate is needed and it's a shame the the West CC didn't call for such discussion rather than decide to act first and perhaps talk later

this very true freedom of speech to all, but your right with the act first comment it seems to have become a habit of late , type and send and it to late air your thoughts, need i say more, the access only roads effects the whole town so how one community council can call for this is beyond me think about the bigger picture and not just your own part of the town.

Anonymous said...

The most important thing that Nairn had was community spirit... Shot to hell in one meeting...
I grew up in a local housing estate and now live in the "West End". I am not in any way posh, prejudiced or one of those people who think " that I am any better than anyone else..
I really believe that it's not the amount of traffic that annoys people, it's the speed, just slow all traffic down so that children and the elderly can cope with it... Remember pedestrians always have right of way....whichever way you look at things!

Brian Turner said...

If traffic control measures are required, instead of unenforcable signs, why not ask Transport Scotland for traffic lights? They appear very generous with them these days!

local knowledge said...

Traffic lights!!! Gee whiz, do you know how long Altonburn Road is?

Anonymous said...

I have seen the Red Squirrels nearly all over Nairn as I been out working. Also some of the worst drivers for speed are people who complain I could tell the story about one person moaning about golfers going to the Nairn Gold Club, being the first to be done for speeding themselves. Also ask the people in ***** ***** how they feel being asked for extra council money, then finding out that they live on a private road. If you want public money to pay for the road, tough I drive all over the area. Typical Nairn NIMBs and also the people only wanting certain people to live in the town.
Next I found must people in Community Councils try their best but the problem is a lot of them have their own agenda and will not give space to others. I dislike this form of local democracy and want the Swizz system where everyone votes on the issue.

Davie said...

I'm no longer too good on my feet and have an invalid scooter to help me get around. I enjoy getting out and about around Nairn including the occasional journey along the Altonburn Road. I'm horrified to read that I may no longer be able to do this if the road is closed. We are people so selfish?