Town centre safety

Muir Street, Motherwell
Muir Street, Motherwell

Two separate safety concerns have been raised as a result of the £1 million refurbishment in Motherwell town centre.

A shop owner is concerned with the lack of light in Muir Street at night, with street lights on just one side of the road.

Meanwhile, the Motherwell Times has been told school pupils are taking alarming risks in order to save a few seconds crossing the road at lunchtimes,.

Hugh Lafferty of Digby’s said: “Now that we are well into the winter months the lack of light in front of the shops in becoming really apparent.

“North lanarkshire Council only put lights on the station side which means that the only light is coming from the shop windows,

“When they start to close you see a real difference and as we are one of the last to shut at night, when we put our shutters down it is virtually pitch black, which frankly is dangerous for everyone.”

Meanwhile, pupils at Dalziel High are taking advantage of the barriers being removed during the refurbishment to sprint across the roundabout at Motherwell cross.

On at least two occasions in the last fortnight this has nearly led to disaster.

One witness said: “Kids use the roundabout to sprint across Hamilton Road and twice I saw a youngster fall into the path of traffic.

“Luckily both times the driver was able to stop and let the kid pick themselves up, but if they hadn’t the consequences don’t bear thinking about.”

North Lanarkshire Council’s business manager of strategic planing Lorna Bowden says council staff will talk to Dalziel pupils, but there’s no plans to install more lights or barriers.

She said: “As a result of the streetscape project in Muir Street the east side of the street, which previously had no lighting columns, now has two.

“The section of the east side of the street which still has no columns is lit from the three columns opposite.

“Along the length of the street, the lighting levels meet the required standard.

“The safety of pupils is a concern, and the council’s road safety team has raised the issue with the school with a view to delivering safety training among pupils to ensure they cross safely.

“Before the guard rails were removed pedestrians often walked along the road side to take the shortest route.

“We believe there is an overall benefit to pedestrian movement not to have guard rails, and we have no plans to reinstate them.”