Safety fear after railings are removed from town centre

COMMUNITY activists have warned of an increased roads danger in Motherwell town centre after the removal of railings.

North Lanarkshire Council has confirmed that the barriers at the junction of West Hamilton Street and Hamilton Road will not be replaced following roadworks in the town centre.

The railings were removed during the nine-month programme which ended last week with the re-opening of Muir Street to traffic.

Ladywell Community Council members expressed concern at their monthly meeting.

A spokesman said: “People, especially schoolchildren, are crossing wherever they see a gap in the traffic. With Muir Street re-opening, traffic will speed up and there is a strong possibility of an accident.

“Instead of wasting money putting flower beds on roundabouts, perhaps some thought can be given to road safety or will it take a fatality to prompt some action?”

David Sutton, North Lanarkshire’s assistant business manager (development implementation), doesn’t believe there is an increased danger.

He said: “The streetscape project aims to upgrade the quality and appearance of the town centre streets and improve pedestrian access and traffic management.

“We assessed the need for the railings in terms of road safety, taking into account that the maximum speed limit is 30mph, the fact that pedestrians often walked on the road side of these railings to take a short cut across the road and that there is a pedestrian crossing nearby. As a result, we decided there were advantages to removing the railings.”

The community council also hit out at driverss who break the law by turning right from Hamilton Road into High Road and vice versa - a situation highlighted by the Motherwell Times earlier this year.

The council said there have been several ‘near misses’ at that spot.