Strathkinness crossroads: New figures for accidents at notorious junction 'show need for safety measures'

The road has been the centre of a debate about traffic safety for some time.The road has been the centre of a debate about traffic safety for some time.
The road has been the centre of a debate about traffic safety for some time.
Newly revealed accident figures for a notorious Fife junction reinforce the need to introduce new safety measures, campaigners say.

Statistics obtained by the Local Democracy Reporting Service show there have been 19 officially noted crashes at the lower Strathkinness crossroads since 2016 – an average of more than three per year.

Two of those collisions resulted in injury, most recently in September last year when three women were hospitalised as a result of a three-car smash.

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Calls by local residents and councillors for Fife Council to take action have fallen on deaf ears to date, with officers contesting that the accident numbers have “never been bad”.

But St Andrews Labour councillor Brian Thomson said of the new figures: “These just back up what we have been saying.”

Police also logged a further 18 “road traffic events” at the junction – covering issues of public safety such as broken down cars or debris in the road.

The statistics obtained from Police Scotland are not a complete record of incidents at the junction, which intersects with the B939 between St Andrews and Craigrothie.

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Motorists do not have to report accidents involving other drivers to the police if they exchange insurance details at the scene, and police attend only the most serious collisions where the public is at risk.

Council roads boss Derek Crowe told a meeting in June that reducing the speed limit in the immediate vicinity of the junction would be “confusing”.

However Cllr Thomson says the figures, while small, underline the need to look at ways of making the junction safer – such as by reducing the speed limit in the area around the junction.

“I’m of the view the speed limit should be reduced to 40mph,” he said.

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“It’s always difficult because they [council officers] are the professionals and they are supposed to be the experts in terms of traffic safety – but if you look around north-east Fife there are many examples where they have reduced speed limits.

“I can’t see why it would be confusing.”

Councillors will meet with transport officers for a site visit at the crossroads next week.

Local Liberal Democrat councillor Jane Ann Liston is optimistic that the visit will lead to a beneficial outcome for residents.

“It seems to me that there is evidence of regular collisions at the crossroads, as evinced by the bits of car and damaged road bollards that are frequently seen there,” she said.

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“At the Area Committee the paper from Transportation appeared to be saying: the major measures we could take are too expensive and the lesser ones wouldn’t make any difference, implying that nothing would be done.

“However I have confidence that because of the reactions to that report that something will be done and look forward to hearing what further proposals are made by the council officers.”

Strathkinness Community Council has been pushing for new safety measures at the junction for some time. It describes previous assessments of the crossroads by Fife Council as “disappointing, but not surprising”.

Asked for comment, Mr Crowe said he was committed to “working together” with local councillors on the issue, adding: “A further report on any actions will come back to the committee for discussion and any decisions on a way forward.”