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Support for village’s road safety calls

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By Fiona Reid

REPEATED calls for a 40 mph speed limit to be introduced on the B7076 at Johnstonebridge following a fatality last summer will be put to a council committee.

Members of Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee yesterday noted a 182-signature petition calling for a speed reduction and safety measures on the busy road and are now pushing for the proposals to be considered by the council’s economy, environment and infrastructure committee.

But the community’s plea for an overtaking ban on the junction of the St Ann’s road and for ‘give way’ signs to be changed to ‘stop’ signs at the same junction and the junction to the motorway and service station were scrapped by officials.
Noting the speed concerns within the village following the tragic death of hotelier Stephen Crawford last August, Annandale North councillor Stephen Thompson said:“We have to exhaust everything we can do and we need to represent our constituents as we can’t ignore their concerns.”
Meanwhile, John Howell, the council’s service manager of national strategy, said the case for a 40 mph limit fails to meet national guidance, but added that screening will be provided south of the C98a junction and that signage for the C98a and U330a junctions will be reviewed and amended as required.
Stressing that the community’s concerns need to be heard, fellow ward councillor Gail Macgregor said: “I know we have national guidance but when I drive up that road that particular part terrifies me.
“We can’t wait until there’s a smash and I can’t sit and wait until someone has an accident.”
Lead petitioner and Johnstone Community Council chairman Fred Dale  welcomed the support from councillors.
He added: “Al we are asking is when people come to Johnstonebridge they are as safe as they can possibly be.
“We would find it hard as a community council if we did nothing about it and someone got hurt or killed as one family devastated is one family too many.”


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