Residents raise 'rat run' concerns

Residents of Peregrine Drive in Inverurie
Residents of Peregrine Drive in Inverurie

Local residents have raised concerns over the safety of children on attending Uryside School and their street after plans to place bollards on a new access road were abolished.

Residents of Inverurie’s Peregrine Drive have pleaded with Aberdeenshire Council to reconsider their decision to open the street to traffic as an access point to the new Uryside School.

Speaking to the Herald they said: “Peregrine Drive was originally due to be opened to access only around 160 houses.

“The new school was intended to be built at Osprey Heights.

“It is for this reason that when Aberdeenshire Council held consultations for the new school being built at Osprey Village, lots of residents in the street went along to the meeting to raise concerns about Peregrine Drive access and we were told that we would have bollards at the end of the street making it a pavement and cycling route only.

“There was informal chats at the end of the meeting with the councillors and everyone here was comfortable that it was under control.”

However work began on the school site and there was no sign of any bollards.

The residents continued: “One of our neighbours asked a builder on the site what was happening with the bollards and he said that they were no longer being installed.”

Following the revelation, the residents phoned the council to try and find out why the bollard promise had been broken.

They have also contacted local councillors, MPs, MSPs, Inverurie Community Council and various departments within Aberdeenshire Council in a bid to get answers and ask for help.

Their efforts didn’t stop there as they also started a petition which has attracted over 320 signatures.

The residents said: said: “The community do not want an access road. The house builder do not require an access road.

“The council is telling us the reason for opening up the road is incase our street is used as a drop off zone, despite the new school having this amenity installed.

“We struggle with this and find it very frustrating that our concerns are being disregarded.

“Around 40 children live on this street. They like to run around outside, something they won’t get to do in the future because of the heavy flow of traffic that will be created by 24/7 access to the new school, recycling point, commercial units and over 450 homes.

“This will have an impact on the whole street and the access road will ruin the community that we have here.”

They continued: “We all feel that we were misled at the Public Consultation Meeting and we believe the road will be unsafe without bollards. The safety of the children that live here and attend Uryside school is paramount.”

It’s not just the parents who are worried about the lack of bollards, the older children on the street have made banners and posters in a bid to have their voices heard too.

The residents added: “The council’s answer to our concerns of installing one more speed hump will not take away from the increased volume of traffic that will inevitably take this ‘rat run’. It is a recipe for disaster.”

However Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Transportation, Ewan Wallace, said: “Since the outset of development in this area, it has been planned that each new phase of housing will be linked up to previous phases by streets allowing through traffic movements. This is important to provide the best possible connectivity and to minimise travel distances.

“It has always been the case that Peregrine Drive would become such a through-road and this is shown on all related plans.

“Traffic calming measures, including those in Peregrine Drive, have b een incorporated into the design to control vehicle speeds.

“We are aware that a new school will always bring new travel patterns.

“In recognition of residents’ concerns about additional school traffic, parents of pupils attending the new school will be advised that the main vehicle access to the new school should be via Oldmeldrum Road and we will of course look at encouraging walking and cycling as the primary mode of transport for the pupils accessing the school in line with our policies.”