Councillors support speed limit change in Inchmarlo

The petition has called for the speed limit to be reduced from 60mph to 40mphThe petition has called for the speed limit to be reduced from 60mph to 40mph
The petition has called for the speed limit to be reduced from 60mph to 40mph
Calls have been made for the speed limit on the A93 near Banchory to be reduced in a bid to keep elderly residents safe.

A petition was submitted to Aberdeenshire Council by Inchmarlo, Brathens and Glassel Community Council last June.

The petition, which gathered 121 signatures, went before the Marr area committee recently.

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It asked for the speed limit on the stretch of road near the Inchmarlo Retirement Village to change from the current 60mph to 40mph.

Petitioners argued that the section of road was “hazardous” due to poor visibility and noted that some motorists tend to drive over the limit there.

They also said the lower limit would help elderly residents safely cross the road to reach the bus stops.

However council officers had recommended the limit remain as it is and take no further action on the matter.

Dr Bill Byth, who is part of the community council and a resident of the retirement village, attended the meeting to speak on behalf of the petition.

He told members that changing the speed limit would create a “smooth progression of traffic” from Inchmarlo through to Banchory.

Dr Byth also said the amended speed would make the road a “much safer and more comfortable” walking and cycle route.

He added: “We also have concerns about the welfare of the residents of the retirement homes. They have very considerable concerns about the traffic speed at the entrance to their community, and surely 300 elderly and vulnerable people should be listened to.”

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Dr Byth said the volume of traffic going in and out of the estate was “enormous” due to residents owning their own cars, visits from care staff and multiple deliveries that take place throughout the day.

He added: “Restricting traffic to 40mph on a 1.2 mile section of the A93 seems a very small price to pay for the benefits to health, safety, sustainable travel and wellbeing.”

Following “insightful” discussion, councillor Ann Ross suggested the committee back the speed change.

She said: “It is important that we listen and take into consideration what it is like for those trying to access and leave the retirement village whether on foot or by car with speed coming along A93. The residents of Inchmarlo are elderly and vulnerable.

“From an equalities perspective, their views need to be taken into consideration.”

The committee unanimously agreed to support the speed limit change.

However, as the move goes against council policy, it will now go before the infrastructure services committee for debate.