Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Garnock Campus July 2015

First things first, choosing Longbar as the site for the new school Campus is one of the stupidest decisions ever taken by North Ayrshire Council. However that is where it is going to be so along with Jean Highgate I have been working to try and make sure that the routes to and from the school are made as safe as possible, and to force the council to make sure a dedicated bus service is in place for all the people using the Campus not just those from Dalry.

The council project team have made some plans to add safety measures to the walking routes and a meeting was help with the local councillors on 24th June to update us on the proposals, a separate meeting was held with parent councils in the evening.
At the meeting concern was expressed about the timing of the meeting shortly before the end of the school term and we requested that the plans, such as they were be displayed in the local libraries in Kilbirnie and Beith.

Unfortunately this has yet to happen two weeks later.
I sent the following correspondence to the project team to make clear my views on the outstanding safety issues.

"Following on from the meeting regarding works planned to limit the risks for people travelling to Longbar, a commitment was made to make copies of the maps of the planned works available in the Libraries in Kilbirnie and Beith. I understand this has not happened yet.

With regard to the routes from Kilbirnie it is my view that safety could be improved by installing a pelican crossing at Dalry Road near the garage so that people can cross and use the Loadingbank road to Glengarnock. That the Railway bridge at Loadingbank be removed as it has long  been a problem for residents with incidents of stone and bottle throwing and drug taking. That lighting be installed on its length and that crossings be installed over the B777 at the footbridge over the river.

From the town centre safety should be improved by widening the pavements on the Valefield side of Kirkland Road. The Kirkland Rd bridge could have the road layout altered slightly to widen the pavement on that side.
In my view it would be best to make the route through Caledonia Rd at this point which could easily and more cheaply improved as the Main Road pavement from Garnockside to the shop is very narrow even before cars park with two wheels on the pavement. The section between the station crossing and the proposed entrance is also too narrow as would be the entrance to the campus.

Most importantly there needs to be a dedicated bus service from Kilbirnie and Beith town centres. As the walking routes will require decent weather to be well used. The existing limited bus services would be unable to cope with the number of people needing to get to the site and all the routes are very exposed to the elements. I have heard the arguments about travelling three miles to other schools but on this occasion NAC have deliberately planned to move a school from an accessible town centre site with developed school transport, to a remote and isolated site with inadequate public transport and they need to take responsibility for safe transport provision."