Ellon Community Council seeks meeting over town bypass safety

One of the junctions onto the Ellon bypass, Knockothie Crescent
One of the junctions onto the Ellon bypass, Knockothie Crescent

Community leaders are seeking a meeting with council roads officials over safety on Ellon’s bypass.

Concern is growing following a traffic survey which showed that around 40% of motorists exceed the 60mph speed limit on the section of the A948 Ellon-Auchnagatt road.

The issue was discussed at Monday night’s meeting of Ellon Community Council when members agreed that roads officials should be invited to a meeting with the council next month.

Community council chairman Sandy McDougall said: “For a number of years the community council has expressed concerns about the safety of the road around the junction with Knockothie Crescent and have advocated measures such as lowering the speed limit, improved signage and improvements to the junction layout, all of which have been dismissed by Aberdeenshire Council.

“Members were concerned that the survey showed considerable numbers of vehicles exceeding the speed limit, particularly during the morning and afternoon peak traffic periods. It revealed that around 40% of motorists exceed the speed when travelling towards Tesco.”

The community council has welcomed the proposed increased enforcement activity by Police Scotland which will see additional measures taken, including the use of unmarked cars.

Mr McDougall added: “We continue to find the position of Aberdeenshire Council concerning, especially in the face of such overwhelming evidence of a public safety matter.

“Officials claim that as there has not been a history of serious accidents in the area further restrictions are unwarranted. The community council maintains that we should not need to wait for a fatality before action is taken. We appeal to the many speeders who use the road to reduce your speed - motorists exiting the junction with Knockothie Crescent regularly find that speeding vehicles coming from the Auchnagatt direction have to take evading action.”

An online petition calling for a reduction in the speed limit was launched in January and attracted 100 signatures.

It was started by local mum Mara Sturton. She said this week : “The main concern continues to be turning right out of Knockothie Road onto the A948. I really appreciate that the situation will continue to be monitored and this alone is a positive outcome.”

Local councillor Rob Merson said roads officers were obliged to adhere to national guidelines relating to statutory speed limits.

He added: “While I was happy to approach this matter with an open mind, and would have been pleased to support the call for a reduction in the speed limit had that been justified, the results of the traffic survey demonstrate that it is not.

“There are clearly a small number of drivers who are driving at excessive speed, but that will occur no matter what speed limit is in place, and is a matter for enforcement by the Police.”

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson said: “Due to previous concerns being raised regarding traffic speeds on this section of road a seven day speed survey has recently been undertaken.

“While it is disappointing that some motorists are exceeding the speed limit the majority of traffic on the road is travelling within the current limit.

“The results, along with the accident statistics, do not indicate that additional measures are required at this time.

“We will however discuss the issue of driver awareness and enforcement with colleagues in Police Scotland.”