Fears over footway plan for busy road in Perthshire

Members of a community council fear a proposal to create a new active travel route on a busy road south of a Perthshire town could end up causing collisions. Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT) wants to form a 3.5 metre wide footway along one side of the A912 all the way from Bridge of Earn to Aberargie. They say its creation will encourage more local people to walk and cycle and the project is currently projected to cost around ?1.6 million.

Community appeal to keep closure-threatened Post Office open But members of Earn Community Council (ECC) are worried reducing the width of the carriageway to accommodate the new route will increase the chances of vehicles travelling in opposite directions crashing into one another. Chairman John Bruce started off a discussion about the proposal at the group’s latest monthly meeting by mentioning a paper produced by PKCT claiming to contain answers to ‘frequently asked questions’ about the project.

The paper, which can be viewed on PKCT’s website, says a construction date is “still unknown” as drainage designs for a stretch known as the Baiglie Straight “are still being refined,” but if all goes well contractors could make a start on the first section “in the spring”. Talks held over public inquiry into the Cross Tay Link Road project However ECC chairman John Bruce said on Monday night he was unaware of any local demand for the route and questioned both its cost and whether PKCT had carried out an adequate public consultation to gauge support for the project.

He said: “I’m sure there are other things that ?1.6m could be used for that would contribute a greater piece of infrastructure than a pathway like this.” Mr Bruce went on to say he had talked to professional road users such as HGV drivers who found the idea of narrowing the carriageway “deeply disturbing”. One per cent hike in housing tenant rents expected

He said: “The concern is any diminution of the width of the carriageway is going to encourage [drivers] to swerve to the centre [and] put them in near collision [course] with another HGV.” Mr Bruce added: “I’m not convinced that a consultation of any depth and breadth has been properly undertaken on this. “I personally cannot understand how many people you need to say ‘I think that’s a good idea’ to justify ?1.6m worth of expenditure.

It has not been explained where the demand came from.” Group treasurer Paul Vallot said he felt there was no point questioning the cost of the project as it was unlikely the money could be used for anything else. He said: “I don’t think the finances of it are relevant because the money has been [allocated] to that project.

The cost of it is not something that we are able to control.” But Mr Bruce insisted: “There are many other places throughout Scotland where a smaller amount of money would contribute much more for more people.” Police issue fines after Perth party and trip to Glenshee

One meeting attendee then moved the conversation back to the point about the narrowing of the carriageway. “It doesn’t make sense,” he said. “It should be getting widened, not narrowed. We are going backwards.”

On the point about a perceived lack of public consultation, Almond and Earn councillor Kathleen Baird offered to arrange a discussion between the community council and PKCT’s communities officer Bid Strachan at a later date.

However, group secretary Janice Sloan said she would prefer to contact Ms Strachan directly with their questions.

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