Councillors make policy change to improve Kintore School safety

Traffic-calming measures will run in tandem with the part-time 20 zone outside Kintore Primary School
Traffic-calming measures will run in tandem with the part-time 20 zone outside Kintore Primary School

Aberdeenshire Council has deviated from policy to pave the way for traffic-calming measures outside the region’s largest primary school.

The local authority’s Infrastructure Services Committee agreed to set aside its policy on the installation of traffic-calming on 30mph roads where the intervention level is not reached.

Councillors also instructed officers to develop a traffic-calming scheme to address the unique speeding issue outside Kintore School where many motorists are ignoring the part-time 20mph speed limit - often travelling as fast as 35mph.

The finer details of the scheme which could feature raised junctions or crossings will be reported back to the council’s Garioch Area Committee as soon as possible.

During debate, officers maintained that the existing traffic-calming in the area was appropriate for the type of road and asked the ISC to block the move made by the Garioch Area Committee earlier this year.

A cross-party Members Promoted Issue was raised by councillors Fergus Hood, Glen Reid and Martin Ford back in June after local residents raised serious concerns over “significant speeding” outside the school.

In an impassioned plea to the ISC, Councillor Reid said there was a “terrible speeding problem” on the 300m stretch of road.

Despite officers claiming there had been no accidents on the road in the past five year, Cllr Reid said it was only a matter of time before a child was injured or even killed.

He said: “In 2018, a double decker bus crashed into a stationary car within this zone.

“In June this year a car lost control and mounted the pavement just before the pedestrian crossing. This month a vehicle mounted the pavement 30 yards from the crossing and knocked the barrier by the bus-stop.”

Supporting the motion, Councillor Paul Johnston said: “This is a good example of an exception to the rule that we need to have. You cannot have a rigid ‘one hat fits all’ everywhere.”

However, Councillor Marion Ewenson feared that deviating from policy could set a precedent for other schools across Aberdeenshire..

She said: “I don’t think there’s a school in the land that doesn’t have a speeding issue. I think we have to go down the route of enforcement. If just a few people were caught and fined that would finish it.”