Friday, August 29, 2014

Traffic Lights - Cllr Colin MacAulay: "I think we have the right people around the table"

Dick Youngson Chair of Suburban Community Council said at the joint meeting of the Subbies and Westies at the Academy on Tuesday night:

A96 Traffic problems are hellish at the moment, absolutely hellish. It’s never been worse and it’s not just peak time. It can happen at any time the traffic lights system we’ve got and pedestrian crossing is just not working and really I think we should have BEAR back in and discuss with them what we can do. We can’t put up with this all winter. It’s taking people the best part of three quarters of an hour to get in from Delnies into town. 

John Mackie said: “Are BEAR the people we should be talking too, Transport Scotland were instrumental in putting traffic lights up in the wrong place so surely they should be addressing it.”

Dick agreed. A little later Graham Vine said: “Every single time we’ve raised these issues at ward fora or wherever the Highland Council officers and councillors have said we’ll talk to BEAR about it, and as you rightly say BEAR’s job is to make sure that the pressure cushions work and that the light bulbs go on and off and that’s it! They have no say or want to have any say on where the lights should be or how they should operate. I was poo-pooed a little while a go but I’m going to raise it again: I think we should try officially shrouding nearly all of those lights and see if the traffic gets better or worse. 

Alastair Noble then joined the discussion: “The traffic assessments have just been the biggest load of cobblers, we’re still at Nairn South with people saying there’s no problem with the A96, it won’t make any difference. So hopefully sanity will prevail and I know this sounds maybe a bit harsh but the planners keep recommending that these developments go ahead. We suffer from their daft decisions. Thankfully the councillors overrule them and don’t actually vote with them but we’re still in the enormously daft position of so-called professionals , transport and planners, saying that it will be all right and I can only echo Brian; I can’t believe how difficult it would be, or it is, to get into the centre of Nairn. You think twice about going shopping in Nairn.” 

Colin MacAulay (one of our Highland Councillors) responded: “I think we have the right people around the table. We have Transport Scotland here. We have a new area manager in terms of roads north and have the attendance of the high heid yins – Glasgow coming up to meetings now. We’ve taken it all the way to the minister, we’ve...we live here as well, we’re as exasperated as every taxi driver and every white van man and everybody that wants to go from Mossside to Balmakeith. Again it’s back to this thing in terms of a major part of the issue has been Lochloy, the failings and refailings in that light and you then get a fault back from that. You then get the congestion around several lights and back around Leopold Street there. [...] Transport Scotland have been using BEAR to make improvements and you can see it actually, sometimes the traffic is extraordinarily heavy and it flows beautifully and there are other times when the traffic is not heavy and it’s got jams from Delnies right through to Lochloy but at Lochloy you can see that the traffic is absolutely moving smoothly heading eastward from there. We’ve got a problem in the centre of town and as a lay individual you feed that in. I have to commend folk like Andrew MacIvor and Stewart Stanfield because they are on the money, they’ve assessed the situation, they’ve given their advice to BEAR, to Siemens and to Transport Scotland. I think they’re finally listening.”

Brian Stewart then continued with another contribution : “Since we are all perhaps to be hopeful that we have a new chap here or a meeting coming up but point one is it shouldn’t hinge on personalities or individuals. The second thing here and what is important to put on the table at whatever meeting now is; is this a minor problem of technical tweaking and fine tuning the wires in the road and the bulbs in the lights or is it a major problem of traffic management. For the last two or three years the reaction and the approach has essentially been it’s a minor problem of tweaking these lights or those lights or the Lochloy lights or the Albert Street junction or the Leopold Street sequence. I think that the experience of the last two or three years and particularly of recent months and the reaction there has been is that it is more than just a minor problem.”

UPDATE: Cllr Liz MacDonald has stated this morning on the Facebook page "Remove Nairn Traffic Lights":

"Fergus Ewing was in Nairn on Wednesday and we were discussing the possibility of removing some of the traffic lights. We have also raised this concerns several times with Transport Scotland on a regular basis. The best way to improve traffic movement within Nairn is to get the By-pass delivered as quickly as possible and it is currently 2 years ahead of the rest of the A96 dualling east of Nairn."


Lightbulb said...

Q. How many right people around a table does it take to change Nairn's traffic lights issue?

A. As many as you like as they don't know what to do

tomorrow never comes said...

Not one sod for the new bypass has been dug and we're being told that's the best way to deal with the traffic light issue, really?

Does it not occur to the person who has suggested this that even if the bypass was to be opened tomorrow the sets of traffic lights in Nairn would still be here

We need a measure that deals with them now, and not some vague suggestion as to what we might expect at some point in the very distant future.

We can go on discussing the very well known problems with our traffic lights forever (forever is looking increasingly likely) but we need action not words

Is anyone in our current political world willing to do something other than sit round tables moving hot air?

lodgehill pirate said...

Fed up commenting on the appalling state of the traffic. Action is overdue and the buck passing must stop. Time to get rid of the pedestrian crossing ones and put striped pedestrian crossings where needed. Lochloy is the main main culprit so switch them off entirely and see what happens. Seabank and Albert street should also be scrapped - problem fixed....

Anonymous said...

Adaptive and synched lights would be better. Removing the lights just transfers the issue to people who live down those roads (lochloy for example). However lochloy might function better with a mini roundabout perhaps, and probably has the space. Perhaps a pedestrian bridge could be installed linking the top of the community centre bank over the road as there's space the other side (won't happen I'll admit). That could though replace two pedestrian crossings in theory. Shame there's no path under the river to replace other pedestrian crossing.

Anonymous said...

I always love to read the comments from the armchair experts when they get behind their keyboards

Problem solved!

Jim Hacker said...

Just run them ourselves