Transport Scotland has voiced concerns about one of Fife Council’s controversial proposed walking routes to school.
Fife Council is reviewing all bus journeys for children, who live within the two-mile walking limit to school. This could result in free bus travel to school being taken from around 1000 children in the Kingdom. Around 290 of those attend Auchmuty High School in Glenrothes.
One of the proposed routes affected is from the Tofthill Estate, which had originally been deemed not suitable for walking because it means crossing the A92. However, because of a new footbridge at the Preston Roundabout and Queensway Underpass, it has now been deemed suitable.
Transport Scotland said it was preparing a response to the Fife Council’s draft policy, but in a letter to a Glenrothes community councillor, Derek Williamson, road safety manager at Transport Scotland, explained their concerns.
“Based on the information provided, we have serious concerns over the proposal that may significantly increase the presence of child pedestrians along the section of the A92 corridor,” he said. “This is not only due to the close proximity of live traffic but the lack of crossing facilities along the route and the narrow footway provision at some locations, particularly at the Loch Leven Bridge between the Preston and Markinch roundabouts.”
Shelagh McLean, head of Education & Children’s Services at Fife Council, said: “It’s important to remember that this process isn’t about deciding specific routes – this consultation is to establish an overall policy for assessing walking routes.
“We’re responding to feedback and concerns raised through the consultation as we finalise the draft policy, which will be taken to the Education & Children’s Services Committee on January 22. If the committee agrees the new assessment policy, members will also discuss how it should be implemented.
“All routes that have transport in place, as a result of a previous decision regarding availability of a walking route, will need to be re-assessed against a new policy. We will want to check the suitability of walking routes to make sure decisions take all factors into account.”