No way through

COMMUNITY heroes have forced council chiefs to put the brakes on plans to scrap a set of traffic signals.

East Renfrewshire council had wanted to replace the 20-year-old signals at Eaglesham Cross with a mini-roundabout.

But angry residents and parents of pupils at nearby Eaglesham primary claimed the mini-roundabout would have put lives at risk.

They banded together to fight the proposals and, in an amazing show of community spirit, forced the council into an embarrassing U-turn.

Delighted mum-of-three Jennifer Bateman, who helped organise the campaign, told The Extra: “It’s absolutely fantastic news.

“It shows you when a community comes together to speak with the one voice you can get results. I really thought the council would go ahead with it anyway. I’m absolutely delighted with the outcome”.

Jennifer, a childminder, added: “The junction lies at the bottom of two hills so there would have been nothing to stop drivers thinking they could just nip across the roundabout.

“The primary is on one side of the road and more than half the children live on the other.

“A roundabout would have made it dangerous for pedestrians crossing there”.

The traffic signals at Eaglesham Cross have been deemed life-expired by ERC, with recurring faults and increasing maintenance costs.

A council roads spokesman said since the opening of the Glasgow Southern Orbital (the dual two-lane carriageway connecting the M77/A77) in 2005 traffic volumes in the village had dropped significantly.

As a result, the council looked at ways to upgrade the junction and plans for a mini-roundabout were put forward.

The spokesman added: “Our option for a mini-roundabout wasn’t well received by the local community, with particular concern relating to vulnerable pedestrians cited as the single biggest issue.

“We have taken this feedback into account and after reviewing the situation decided the proposal to create a mini-roundabout will not be progressed. Instead a new set of traffic signals will be installed at Eaglesham Cross”.

Not only will the village get a new set of lights but with assistance from the Whitelee windfarm fund it may also get an upgrade.

The money could be used to pay for a “more sophisticated vehicle detection system to optimise the safe and efficient operation of the junction in the interests of all road users and pedestrians”.

Bill Duguid, chairman of Eaglesham community council, told The Extra: “This has been a remarkably brief campaign by the young mothers in the community and the speed of the decision by ERC is testament to the strength of feeling demonstrated.

“The outcome shows a willingness of the roads department to listen”.