Rethink on pavement lighting

The lights have been positioned in the centre of the newly-widened pavement.
The lights have been positioned in the centre of the newly-widened pavement.

Council bosses are looking at the feasibility of moving street lighting on a pavement in Ellon which has raised safety concerns.

Following widening work, lamp-posts have been left in the middle of the footpath in the town’s Castle Road - which left local people baffled.

I am very pleased that my concerns have been recognised

Cllr Isobel Davidson Ellon and District

Fears have been expressed that in their current position they are a hazard for wheelchair users and those with sight issues.

It has also been pointed out that they could pose a safety risk for pupils when they make their way to the new Ellon Academy campus, which will open in August.

Parents warned that the width restriction could force the youngsters to walk closer to the busy road.

Council officials maintained last week that due to water and gas mains underneath the pavement, the lighting poles would have to remain there.

However, they said there was still enough room on the path for cyclists, pedestrians and wheelchair users.

Local Councillor Isobel Davidson had urged a rethink because of the hazard risk.

This week she told the Times she had spoken to the project manager for the schools site and he has looked at getting the columns moved to the grass area behind the pavement.

The councillor added: “A design is being drawn up which will have to be approved by the council lighting section. If this is approved, the work will take place before the school opens.

“I hope the timing of the work will fit in with the installation of the Toucan crossing which is proposed for that area too.

“I am very pleased that my concerns have been recognised. I do think having poles in the middle of a footpath is a hazard, not just to people with disabilities, but to all users as they are an unexpected hazard.

“It is not usual to have lights in the middle of a path and if you are distracted, it could be fairly easy to walk in to them.”

An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said: “The contractor carrying out the new Ellon Academy development has been asked by the council to revisit the Castle Road footpath site, with the view to establish whether the lighting columns can be repositioned. “The feasibility of moving the columns has still to be determined.”