Dead end fears for Peebles roads petition

The campaigner behind a 600-strong petition to introduce road safety measures around Peebles schools has rejected a council report.

The paper, produced after Helen Wallace presented her petition for improvements to Scottish Borders Council, instructs councillors meeting today to take no action.

Mrs Wallace launched the campaign after she and her toddler son were nearly involved in a serious accident at the puffin crossing near Kingsland Primary in April.

While she agrees with the report regarding Halyrude RC and Priorsford primaries, claiming bad parking is the issue behind traffic problems around both schools, she is adamant more needs done to make the A72 road near Kingsland safer. She told The Southern: “The traffic island is not safe. I watched my friend trying to take two of her children across, all on bikes, and I was scared witless for them.

“Cars were passing very close and if a lorry went past it could have knocked them off.

“The island is too small, but it is not an option for a parent to leave a child on the island while they cross, or vice-
versa.”

Mrs Wallace’s campaign began after she and two-year-old son Ruaridh were almost knocked down.

She gathered the support of Peebles Community Council, as well as Tweeddale MP David Mundell.

In the report by SBC’s Bryan Young and Phillippa Gilhooly, they say the incident was “very alarming”, but more to do with bad driving than safety shortcomings.

The authors write that the nearby public car park used by parents has been extended, a new shared cycle/pedestrian path introduced and 30mph sign erected, all after the new Kingsland school was built in February 2010.

They wrote: “We are in frequent contact with Kingsland Primary School as the volume of children cycling to school is on the increase.”

But Mrs Wallace replied: “Someone is going to die on that road – it may be a child or an elderly person.

“The council is trying to encourage children to walk or cycle to school, but it is not safe enough at that crossing.

“We want our children to be independent, but I would not want them crossing that road alone.”

Mrs Wallace also claimed 20mph signs at Hay Lodge Park have yet to be installed despite promises they would be for the start of new term.