Fears Falkirk roundabout near school is ‘too wee’ for large vehicles

The size of a roundabout created near a school as part of a brand new road have sparked “public safety concerns” from two Falkirk councillors who say it is too small.

Councillors Brian McCabe and Billy Buchanan both believe that the roundabout at the start of the new Denny Eastern Access Road (DEAR) is not big enough to cope with a growing number of HGVs and other large vehicles using it.

Falkirk Council said the road had passed through no fewer than three road safety audits, with no concerns being raised at any stage.

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But the councillors remain unconvinced and say they want to highlight the situation which they believe will only get worse as the road gets busier.

Independent councillor Brian McCabe, who represents Denny & Banknock, points out that another 200 houses could soon get planning permission for land on the other side of the roundabout from Denny High School, east of Winchester Avenue, with an application now at the pre-planning stage.

Another 300 homes are also expected to be built by Avant in the Mydub area, along the route of the new road.

The long-anticipated road, which runs from Broad Street to Glasgow Road, was spoken of as a way to improve congestion at Denny Cross for more than 30 years.

In more recent years, the final project was delayed by problems with land acquisition, which led to protracted negotiations.

But the 1.3 km stretch of road was finally opened in May this year and was warmly welcomed by many.

It has been designed with pedestrian islands to help cross the road safely at strategic points; a wide path for walking and cycling; and bus lay-bys to improve public transport options.

However, the Independent councillors say the older roundabout on the A883 is not simply not big enough for large vehicles which have to use both lanes to make the turn.

Councillor Brian McCabe and Baillie Billy Buchanan of Falkirk Council
Councillor Brian McCabe and Baillie Billy Buchanan of Falkirk Council

Councillor McCabe said: “The roundabout is simply too wee – it’s a sharp turn for a car never mind a big artic lorry.”

“If you look at the other roundabouts on the road, this is the smallest and yet it’s the main one.”

“You can also see that we will be repairing the drains on the roundabout every second month. Traffic hits them every time a car or van goes across the roundabout.”

Baillie Billy Buchanan, also Independent, is the councillor for the neighbouring ward of Bonnybridge but he says many of his constituents attend Denny High School.

He said: “I am only a lay person but it’s clear to see now that with huge lorries coming down the DEAR road it’s going to be a disaster.

“I raised this ten years ago and I’m saying it again – this round about is dangerous for large vehicles.”

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: “As part of the DEAR delivery programme, the design and construction progressed through three stages of Road Safety Audit (RSA) with the most recent being immediately before opening. No concerns were raised regarding the connections or roundabouts.

“The school roundabout and the one on the A883 were designed/sized with the full length of DEAR being in operation with the predicted flows of traffic including future levels from the further development of Mydub 2 and therefore do not require any alterations.

“We have liaised with the high school and information to teachers/staff and parents advising of the road opening and to be mindful of traffic from the right when leaving the school was provided. There is also a temporary sign within the school grounds advising of traffic coming from the right.”

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Daily Record – Falkirk