I was pleased that Road Safety Week has been marked in my ward by the Garioch Area Committee approving today the implementation of a Traffic Management Order (TMO) which includes the reduction of speed limit to 50mph on the A944 west of Gairloch Smiddy to Mason Lodge, an overall distance of 2030 metres. Within the five year period from January 2012 to December 2016, of the 17 accidents reported to Police Scotland, 65% of these involved inappropriate speeds. The purpose of the 50mph speed limit is to reduce the number and severity of collisions at the crossroads.
The TMO earlier went to public consultation. An objector argued that safety should be improved on the bends of the road and drainage needs to be looked at. The Roads team have been asked to investigate drainage issues and I have today requested an early report back to ward members. Officers today stated that the bends on the route where vehicles have known to have left the road have already been identified for inclusion in next year’s surfacing programme and again, I asked for early implementation.
Drivers will be aware that on both sides of the smiddy junction, there are “slow down” LED warning signs. Unfortunately these are out of order at the moment. My final request was to ensure these are fixed promptly and that they remain in place to complement the new speed limit.
The additional journey time travelling at 50mph rather than 60mph over the proposed change, we are told, would equate to 14 seconds (the time I took to type the first 20 words of this blog!).