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Highland Council committee approves retention of Dingwall temporary 20mph speed limit

By Gregor White

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The Dingwall area committee of Highland Council has given its backing to the retention of traffic calming measures on the town's Back Road and Burn Place.

During discussions local ward members Cllrs Alister Mackinnon and Angela Maclean spoke of their support.

Cllr Alister Mackinnon said: “Retaining the 20mph and traffic calming measures will not only improve road safety but will also encourage more people to walk and cycle around the town.

"Many residents live to the north west of Back Road and nearby Maggie’s wood is a popular place for people to enjoy a walk.

"Before the temporary 20mph restriction 60 per cent of vehicles were recorded as exceeding the speed limit so I am glad about the decision taken today as I feel it will certainly improve safety.”

Cllr Angela Maclean said: “We have the ideal opportunity to not only improve the safety of walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users, especially the primary and secondary pupils that use the Back Road route regularly, but this also ties in with the council’s commitment to climate change and cutting emissions.

“It is all about getting people out of their cars with the confidence that they can travel around safely. Public safety must be paramount. Car drivers need to slow down and by having the 20mph limit as well as the traffic calming measures this clearly reinforces the need to be aware of all other road users.”

However, Cllr Margaret Paterson disagreed, saying that the traffic calming measures had resulted in a flood of complaints and called for their removal.

Committee Chair Gordon Adam commented that experience showed that new road layouts initially led to some public resistance but this decreased as people got used to them.

“The 18 month trial period will make it clear whether the 20mph measures work effectively” he said. “After that, the public will have their say over whether they are retained permanently”.

The decision means that the temporary order and traffic calming will be in place for a maximum of 18 months from when it went live on June 19.

The council said this time will be used to carry out another round of public consultation for the 20mph limit and traffic calming measures becoming permanent.

See tomorrow's North Star for more reaction to this story.

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