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20mph zones on the way

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
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20mph zones on the way

ROADS workers are set to get into gear this month on a huge roll-out of 20mph zones across Dumfries and Galloway.

Councillors have now given the green light to a huge programme of traffic calming measures, which will be implemented outside all primary schools within the next 12 months, as well as every major town in the region by August 2023.

Dumfries and Galloway Council also committed to introducing 20mph zones on timber haulage routes within small communities in order to improve public safety.

This idea was put forward by Castle Douglas and Crocketford Councillor John Young and was widely supported by councillors.

Councillor Jane Maitland said: “These are little settlements which suffer disproportionately in many ways.

“Things like the removal of quarry stone, tanker transport, and industrial-sized dairies, all of these have changed the use of these roads which were not designed to take that level of speedy and heavy transport.”

Steven Herriott, the council’s head of roads and infrastructure, explained that the timber haulage routes could be added as a third stream of works too.

However he underlined that the team working on the 20mph zone is small, saying: “We would be looking at additional resources in some way if we were going to take on other priorities.”

Introducing 20mph zones on timber haulage routes was widely supported, however Annandale North Councillor Adam Wilson feared it could jeopardise the progress of the schools and towns project.

He argued: “I completely agree with the ambition. I completely agree in principle with what has been said, but we don’t have the resources to do it.

“We run the risk of jeopardising the entire programe, which is the problem we’re trying to fix.”

The report suggests that work could begin on streets outside the first two of 24 primary schools this month, with all school areas to be completed by December 2022.

Primary schools included are: Twynholm, Gelston, Carrutherstown, Castle Kennedy, Auchencairn, Caerlaverock, Collin, Lochrutton, Springfield, Kirkgunzeon, Duncow, Portpatrick, Nethermill, Borgue, Brydekirk, Shawhead, Hightae, Ae, Palnackie, Tundergarth, Applegarth, Hottsbridge, St Ninian’s RC and Kirkbean.

The towns to benefit from 20mph zones: Annan, Locharbriggs/Heathhall, Lockerbie, Dalbeattie, Castle Douglas, Newton Stewart/Minnigaff, Gretna, Kirkcudbright, Moffat, Lochmaben, Langholm, Kirkconnel, Sanquhar, Thornhill, Eastriggs, Stranraer.

The first nine towns listed are expected to be actioned first, with the others scheduled later.

Temporary speed limits lasting 18 months will be introduced at each location, while work is done in the background to make them permanent.

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