STUPID DECISION

Lollipop patrols shifted from danger crossing at Crosslet on the A82

Lollipop patrols at Garshake

School crossing patrols have been shifted from Crosslet to Garshake.

By Bill Heaney

On January 22 this year, I wrote this in my Notebook column: “Ever since it was decided to build the new Council residential home at Crosslet, there have been consistent warnings here and elsewhere of the dangers that it might bring with it.

“Not to the residents themselves, of course, but to people coming to visit them in their large, supposedly lovely but impersonal residence above the timber houses.”

I was repeating a warning I have often given in my columns. The fast moving A82 Loch Lomond to Glasgow road at the foot of Argyll Avenue in the timber houses is an ever present danger.

People crossing from the northbound bus stop to visit friends and relatives at Crosslet House and pupils going to local schools, Dumbarton Academy and Wee St Pat’s in Crosslet Road, Silverton; Knoxland PS in Newtown and Braehead PS in Meadow Road by the Common, take their life in their hands every time.

Apart from when they are shepherded across the dual carriageway by brave crossing patrol persons.

Lollipop patrols at Garshake 4.jpg

New location – the Crosslet crossing patrols have been moved to Garshake.

Almost a month later, another local newspaper claimed how they exclusively brought attention to the danger by reporting that parents of children were “furious” that West Dunbartonshire Council had decided to move those school crossing patrols AWAY from the bottom of Argyll Avenue.

That is a puzzling decision, especially when one takes into account that fact that six accidents have happened at that blackspot in not much more than 12 months.

In fact, it’s a stupid decision which leaves people vulnerable to accidents and injury and the Council a hostage to fortune.

Opprobrium will be heaped on them if there is another accident there and the person knocked down does not have the same good fortune as Rachel Hardie, the 15-year-old who was struck by a car even though she was crossing there supervised by a lollipop person.

It doesn’t surprise me that the decision to move the lollipop persons 150 yards along the road to the Garshake lights was taken following a report from consultants.

I wonder were these people local or if they knew the history of that crossing and I cannot believe that we didn’t in Dumbarton have people on the Council who knew this crossing’s history.

This morning I was driving home on that road just before 8.30am and I saw a man stranded in the central reservation at the entrance to the police headquarters.

He was naturally looking anxious as the traffic streamed past him at speeds in excess of 40mph.

Police have found that stretch of the A82 difficult to cross into.

Is it any wonder that when they were looking for austerity cuts Police Scotland said they wanted to move out of their Dumbarton headquarters at Crosslet?

Chief Constable Stephen House’s report stated that not only was had the present building outlived its usefulness given the reorganisation that had taken place.

He said the access and egress through the only gate at Overtoun Lodge was unacceptably dangerous.

If the police themselves think crossing the A82 on that stretch of road is too dangerous, what about the school children coming and going to school and the people visiting the old folk’s home?

Council leader Jonathan McColl claims we have a listening council in West Dunbartonshire.

This is his opportunity for him to prove it.  Move the patrols back to where they have been for many years.

If there were six accidents with lollipop patrols in place, how many do you think we are going to have without them?

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