Coaltown of Balgonie residents say village has become a ‘rat run’

Cllr Ian Sloan with village residents complaining about Fife Council vehicles passing through Main St. Pic by FPA.
Cllr Ian Sloan with village residents complaining about Fife Council vehicles passing through Main St. Pic by FPA.

Incensed residents in a Fife village claim council workmen have turned their community into a ‘rat run’ - sparking road safety fears.

Folk in Coaltown of Balgonie say the situation has become untenable with the village ‘besieged with vehicles’ at peak times accessingFife Council’s Bankhead depot.

And they have slammed Fife Council for not doing enough to sort out concerns despite an agreement being put in place when the authority moved into the former Amazon site in 2011. It said that council vehicles would only use the main roads through Coaltown if they were attending specific business at an address in the village.

Residents say the sheer volume of council vehicles they have monitored is evidence that their village is being used as a short cut through to other communites.

Councillor Ian Sloan said he had been trying to remedy the situation since 2013: “Coaltown must be one of very few communities with this high level of commuter and commercial traffic that does not have a pedestrian crossing on the main road through the village.”

Fellow councillor Ross Vettraino added he had written to various heads of service two weeks ago to remind them of their obligations.

Lynn Nicoll, resident, said: “The situation has become unbearable because of the large volume of traffic now coming through the village, it’s making our life hell.

“Along with large numbers of council vehicles using the village as a short cut, concerns have been raised of speeding motorists, and it’s only a matter of time before a child or elderly resident is injured.”

Police have deployed speed cameras in recent weeks but residents have been further frustrated after being told a proposed pedestrian crossing is not a priority and will not be given consideration until at least April 2017. Mrs Nicoll said: “The planned crossing is a ‘category two’ so will not be included in the council’s 2016 programme, they have no budget to cover the cost and it would be up to the council’s discretion anyway, it’s very disappointing.”

Ken Gourley, head of assets, transportation and environment, said: “There are agreed driving routes in place to minimise the impact of traffic travelling through Coaltown of Balgonie. We are aware of concerns and will be taking action to make sure that everyone is reminded of the routes they should be taking.”