Friday, April 13, 2012

Traffic, ratruns, West End and all that

The image above (taken today) and the text below in from one of our regular readers:

It was only a few months ago that the question of traffic through the West End's residential streets was raised at a Nairn West Community Council meeting. There was concern among local residents about the increasing volume of through traffic, the risks to children and visitors in the Marine Road/Links area, and the hazard to the elderly folk who live in some of the houses in the surrounding streets. The idea was raised of approaching the other CCs, and the Council, to discuss measures like access signs or speed limits, similar to those that already exist in the Fishertown.

This provoked an regrettable outburst of snide and hostile comment - not least in the esteemed pages of the Gurn (see ) - including remarks about posh people, armed guards and gates, NIMBYs etc, - all of which revealed a disturbing level of prejudice among some, at least, of the folk of Nairn. There were even calls for Nairn West CC to be disbanded....

Well it hasn't taken long for those genuine concerns to prove well-founded, as the accompanying photo shows. This afternoon a vehicle travelling down Seafield Street towards the links collided with a car at the crossing with Thurlow Road. The police, the ambulance service and the fire brigade were all at the scene. Fortunately no-one was killed or seriously injured, but those involved were badly shocked and an elderly lady passenger in one car had to be cut out of the vehicle and was taken away by ambulance.

It is interesting that Sandy Park's more thoughtful response to the earlier Nairn West proposals was to express support for 20mph zones in residential streets. And it is noteworthy that Liz MacDonald's more recent suggestion of such measures in Boath Park seems to have attracted support rather than intolerant abuse.

Sensible traffic management in all the various residential areas of Nairn is something that the whole town should support. Children, older people, and visitors unfamiliar with the town are all, in their different ways, at risk. We should not have to wait for more accidents, or a fatality, before taking preventative measures. Let us hope there are not too many more serious traffic accidents in quiet suburban streets before action is taken to improve road safety for everyone who lives here.

Regular Gurnite


Anonymous said...

A car driver dosnt look properly and pulls out in front of another car colliding with it. What has this got to do with rat runs and speed limits? You cant legislate against stupidity?

Anonymous said...

Every housing scheme West end, Fishertown ,Boath park should have 20 mph speed limits. Anyone driving faster than that( even if it is the legal limit to drive at 30 mph) are just reckless drivers. There is no way you can stop in time if a child or someone's pet runs out their gate!
It shouldn't be if it should be when.

road user said...

In the UK 30% of serious accidents happen at junctions, glad that no one was killed in todays one

I would be quite happy for more roads to be limited to 20mph but I regret to say that many cars still exceed that limit in the Fishertown

Many drivers break the speed limit everyday on our roads, what do we do about it?

20mph said...

I don't think anyone would object to a 20mph limit on many of our roads, but the idea of closing roads off yes, hence I suspect many of the replies which @regular gurnite found offensive when the Gurn published details of the proposed road closure

I think the Gurn published this

or something similar a while back, most fatalities occur along the A96 in Nairn

I would support a 20mph scheme as I'm sure many others would. Perhaps in light of the unfortunate accident today the west CC might like to start a campaign for such a speed limit in some areas. I'm sure they would enjoy the support of other Nairn CC's and not draw the hostility which they attracted with Access Only roads

Graisg said...

"You cant legislate against stupidity?" Yes but let's wait for the police to decide the causes of this accident shall we?

Anonymous said...

What a load of nonsense. There have been other accidents in the area - these things happen. I have walked/cycled around that area hundreds of times traveling to work and I have never had any problems with traffic.

bystander said...

@20mph and others....

No one has ever suggested "closing off roads". Much of the hysteria whipped up about this seemed to assume that there had been proposals for road closures in the West End. Not true, but the myth seems to persist.

"Access Only" is not road-closure - it just means 'use the road if your start-point, or destination, is along this road'.

Anonymous said...

Is there any suggestion that the vehicle on Seafield St was using it to avoid the traffic on the A96 ?

Is it really reckless to drive faster than 20mph in a housing scheme ?

In Queenspark for example, with narrow streets, corners and lots of parked cars - yes is probably is.

On Seabank Road, which is wide and straight with excellent visibility and few young families - of course it isn't.

Spelding said...

I take it this accident happened about 4.45pm. I saw the fire engine. I had been stuck in
traffic between the Triangular Wood and Waverley Road for over half an hour.
Had to go to hospital for an appointment and even at 5.45 when I re-emerged on to King Street at the Leopold Street lights it was still log jammmed. A by pass
is not needed in twenty years time. It was needed years go.

Anonymous said...

The issue is the traffic lights again, people would not be looking for short cuts if they worked properly, took me 15 min's to get from Achareidh to town centre.
We are not even into the height of summer again & the traffic is backed up away out of the town, this is on a friday night at 6:00 pm.
the madness continues....

Anonymous said...

bystander said: ""Access Only" is not road-closure - it just means 'use the road if your start-point, or destination, is along this road'."

To me that's road closure! If my start-point or destination is not along that road, then I'm not allowed to use it.

20mph said...


Access Only would preclude the use of the road for through traffic which is exactly why some west residents want to have it in place. It would stop not only the perceived problem of so called rush hour traffic, but would also stop locals, tourists etc freely driving along the Access Only road unless they lived on it or were visiting someone who did

Hysteria no, myth no, it's a fact and you wonder as to why it has raised so much hostility from the community outwith the west

Like others I'm for more 20mph zones, but no more talk of road closures if you don't want to further alienate the west, or maybe that is your intent?

Jim said...

@ Spelding

The road was blocked and emergency vehicles present at just after 4 p.m.

Reference the traffic blocks on the A96 through Nairn on Friday. These were present all afternoon. I'm not sure they were caused by simple traffic volumes.

Have the Roads people been tinkering with the traffic lights linkage through the town? Or is there a software problem?

With the lights in full working order, vehicles can move more steadily. The 'new' junction lights at Albert Street and Seabank Road only change for long enough to allow two or three cars to emerge, which does not readily delay A96 traffic.

It seems to me that the traffic light cycle time east of Nairn Bridge, at the Lochloy and Granton turns has been extended recently. This is noticeable when entering the town from the Forres direction.

An unnecessary extra couple of minutes on the lights cycle time can have a profound effect on the A96 traffic flow.

Anonymous said...

It is unfotunate that an accident has happened on this road. However this cannot be a justification for creating "Access Only" roads in the west of the town. It is not helpful to have "I told you so" letters published on this contentious issue.

Anonymous said...

Who says there are no young families in sea bank road? some people use the roads including manse road like a race track, much more than 30mph

Graisg said...

Maybe the wee green men are doing their own thing again?

Anonymous said...

As the in the photograph says "Accident", accidents happen. They happen all over, not just in the West ! Sensible traffic calming measures, such as speed restrictions and sleeping policemen should be introduced in ALL residential areas where there is EVIDENCE to support their need.

Anonymous said...

"Accidents happen"

Yes indeed they do, and they all have unique sets of circumstances as the cause.

I recall sadly the accident that occurred 3 junctions away from this one 2 years ago where a local person lost their life. (no traffic lights then or congestion issues)

It saddens me for people to use such events for justification of their reasons for implementing "access conditions" just because they want too.

Leave the town to live the way it lives, thats why we love it,

For those incensed on making clinical changes...who says what you propose will prevent the very issue you use as your justification for change!