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Politicians in united bid at busy junctions; DANGER ZONES Highlighting 'horrendous' traffic problems.

Byline: Judith Tonner

Action is being demanded to improve congestion and traffic flow on busy Carlisle Road and at four of its problem junctions.

Now Airdrie South's quartet of councillors - from three different political parties - have teamed up to call for measures including traffic lights to help drivers at the backed-up intersections with Brownsburn Road, Petersburn Road, Craigneuk Avenue and South Biggar Road.

They have already met roads officials and secured a new survey of the area's vehicle flows and volumes; and are also requesting pedestrian safety improvements in Calderbank due to concerns about an increased volume of traffic through the village following the M8 upgrading work.

All four councillors met the Advertiser to highlight the Carlisle Road traffic problems; and saw the issue illustrated by tailbacks right along the route during and after the morning rush hour, with long queues forming at the congested junctions.

Conservative councillor Sandy Watson said: "Brownsburn Road is horrendous - it's impossible for vehicles to get out and turn right, and for HGVs especially the only chance is when drivers in each direction let them onto Carlisle Road.

"Petersburn Road, South Biggar Road and Craigneuk Avenue are awful too; so we've met with the roads department and laid on the line what needs to be done, and they're going to go away and look at the options, like traffic lights.

"We've all put aside our political differences on this matter, as something needs done before somebody gets badly injured. This should be a priority for spending money."

SNP member Paul Di Mascio added: "This morning congestion is quite typical, backing up past the industrial estate and into Petersburn.

"We've all had people at our surgeries about this, including those asking how pedestrians are to get across these roads when they're so busy.

"All of us want to work together to make something happen; the feedback from roads officers has been positive, as they've said they'll survey the area, and then go away and look at all the options."

Labour member Ian McNeil said: "These have always been bad junctions but the volume of traffic on the road is now even worse - the A73 was never designed for the volume of traffic on it now, and the morning and evening rush hours are getting worse.

"There's only room in the middle of Carlisle Road for three or four cars waiting to turn right into Petersburn Road; and lorries trying to get out of Brownsburn can be there for quite an amount of time if somebody doesn't stop for them.

"We'll have two new schools being built on Petersburn Road with about 700 pupils; and it's hardly going to attract industry to the area when there are such issues on the roads. Traffic lights are the only way we can see it being solved."

He added: "I didn't know Sandy or Paul before the election, but we've all been approached at our surgeries and now we're working together for the people of the ward.

"The roads officers were quite surprised to see all four of us at the same time; but although we're from three different parties, it's all about trying to improve amenity."

SNP councillor Michael Coyle agreed: "We decided to act collectively because we all realise what the problems are.

"That's what we're elected to do, and I hope this will be a precedent for all councillors, replicated across North Lanarkshire.

"The fact that there's four of us gives us a stronger voice; we're working in tandem and all singing from the same hymnsheet.

"Bad traffic in this area affects everyone in Airdrie and in North Lanarkshire because this stretch is right in between the motorways and people are trying to find any route available."

The councillors also say there has been a notable increase in traffic in Calderbank, and are calling for a new pedestrian crossing.

Councillor Watson said: "There's been a lot more traffic coming that way since the M8 work; it's dangerous for pedestrians, as they can't get across Main Street, so we'd like to see a pelican crossing instead of the mini-roundabout. " Ward colleague Councillor Di Mascio added: "The problem is that the shops are on the opposite side of the road to most of the houses; the roads officials recognise that there's some basis and will look at that."

North Lanarkshire Council say that they will examine how traffic on Carlisle Road can be improved and will report back to the quartet of councillors.

A council spokesperson said: "An officer from our roads team has met with the local elected members to discuss their concerns, and we will now engage a consultant to carry out surveys and a review of possible options at these junctions."

Something needs done before someone gets badly injured. This should be a priority ...
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Publication:Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser (Lanarkshire, Scotland)
Date:Dec 13, 2017
Words:798
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