Through our local consultation work in 2015/16 we became aware that ‘traffic’ issues are an ongoing source of concern across Glencairn, but in Moniaive in particular. Further discussions identified a number of different ‘traffic’ related issues, including speed of vehicles, size of vehicles, lack of pavements, lack of parking, and inappropriate parking.
The Conservation village of Moniaive was shaped in an era of horse-drawn vehicles, and the narrow streets are now lined with parked cars and groan under the weight of the agricultural and HGV traffic that powers our local economy. Our local school is one of the few in the area not to benefit from a 20mph limit, although the local Community Council have been working hard for several years to rectify this situation.
During Summer 2016 we issued our Glencairn & Moniaive Action Plan, and one of our priorities outlined in that plan is the improvement of accessibility, as part of our wider aim to regenerate the High Street.
So when Living Streets (Scotland) advertised their new project, Lower Speed Communities, it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. We applied to be considered for a place on the national pilot, which aims to use funding from the Scottish Government’s Road Safety Framework to help 6 communities across Scotland to achieve a 20mph limit. After a site visit by Barbara Allan from Living Streets (Scotland), we were offered a place on the project.
We held our first community meeting in May 2017. Representatives of many of the local organisations of Glencairn came together with business owners and local residents to help us draw up a map of ‘problem areas’. Those present agreed that:
- Speed is an issue with vehicles entering / exiting the village.
- Size of vehicle, as much as inappropriate speed, is an issue to pedestrians
- Lack of pavements, combined with inappropriate parking, increases the dangers to pedestrians
- Moniaive is a busy, working village, and any ‘solution’ must be sensitive to the importance of that traffic to the local economy.
The Mapping process highlighted particular worries around:
a) The Dunreggan entrance to the village
b) Parking outside the public toilets
c) Parking outside the shop
d) Parking around the School at start / end of school day
You can read the full meeting notes here:
We agreed to take these issues forward with the relevant authorities, and in June 2017 we held our first meeting with a representative of Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Infrastructure & Transportation Department. He outlined all the work carried out to date regarding a revision of the speed limit in Moniaive, and kindly supplied us with some technical data to help us progress our ideas. We had the opportunity to explain the background to our project, and to discuss ways in which we might carry forward our current objectives. You can see the Meeting Notes and associated documents here:
Throughout 2017 we continued to gather evidence from local residents, both out and about in Moniaive (on our stall at the Gala, for instance), and through comments generated on our Facebook page. We were pleased to see that many local residents supported us by displaying our “20mph” posters in their windows for the 2017 Gala Parade. Our ‘wee laddie’ (go-slow scarecrow) was been moved around the various entrances to the village, to remind drivers to slow down.
In early October 2017 we carried out two Community Street Audits, with the help of some local volunteers, including the Junior Road Safety Officers and P7 Class from Moniaive Primary. Those Audits identified a small range of actions that we can take ourselves, both to raise awareness of and to alleviate some of the traffic / pedestrian conflicts. We issued a draft report on our findings in November 2017, which was then open for comment and feedback.
Our partnership work with Living Streets finished at the end of 2017, and their Final Report on the project has now been published, with copies forwarded to Dumfries & Galloway Council and to local elected members, in support of our call for a 20mph area for Moniaive.
You can read that report here:
In 2018 we were contacted by parents from Moniaive Primary School regarding the difficulties of the ‘school run’. Both pedestrians and motorists find Chapel Street difficult to traverse during busy periods, with parked cars and lack of pavements leaving pedestrians (especially our smallest residents) feeling particuarly vulnerable. This is further exacerbated by the passage of heavy goods vehicles. In the summer of 2018 we therefore launched our Timber Waggon Survey, asking for your views on the idea of our negotiating a TIME RESTRICTION on passage of timber waggons at school entrance and school exit times. Other schools, we were told by D&G Council, already have such restrictions in place.
The survey ran through June-July of 2018. An Online Survey was supported by a paper questionnaire distributed to houses on the timber route (A702-C116-B729), which was also available in the village shop, and at the Moniaive Gala. We received 79 responses, with 70 votes in favour and 9 votes against us negotiating a time restriction.
Comments IN FAVOUR included:
“Good idea for Chapel Street and Ayr Street. It is not just the children who need looking after, so do the elderly who shop here.”
“The timber waggons passing through Moniaive Village pose a very real threat to the safety of pedestrians whether that be elderly people, families or school children.”
“It is obvious to everyone that our children are significantly at risk, dodging traffic, and parked cars, and slow elderly walkers to the surgery find it quite a challenge.”
“I believe in preserving the lives of the younger generation.”
Comments OPPOSED include:
“Driver hours are already restricted without villages starting to create times when they can’t go through them. This will cost haulage companies thousands of pounds and that will be passed on inevitably to customers, ie me and thee. Can you imagine if every village done this? Absolute carnage and chaos. This is utter stupidity.”
“It should not just be for school time, these lorries and many others especially vans speed along ayr street and only slow down at bend at clock tower.”
“These lorries are part of a business and shouldn’t have to sit around waiting for a half restriction which will interfere with both their business & their tachograph which could make delivery of their load difficult and the add-on effects would be huge. Teach the children (and some of the parents!) how to walk on a road without pavements & not wander down the middle like they own the road and the lorries wouldn’t be a problem.”
Moniaive Initiative fully appreciates the importance of the forestry industry to the local economy, and have been mindful of this when negotiating an agreement to improve local safety and lessen the impact of that industry on our community.
In March 2019 our proposal was accepted by the Transport Forum, who will now include the time restriction in new haulage contracts. This is a voluntary agreement, and although we cannot legally enforce it, we can actively encourage it’s adoption. If you notice timber waggons transiting the village during the restricted times (8.50am-9.20am and 3.00pm-3.30pm) please contact us with details (time, date, and registration or haulier name) and we will report it to the Transport Forum, with a reminder to the haulier of why the restriction is in place. Our aim is to build on the success of the existing restriction in Dunreggan, without creating a disproportionate impact on this important local industry.
Meanwhile, discussions continued with Dumfries & Galloway Council, and during the summer of 2020 work was finally completed on our 20mph zone. Although Moniaive Initiative are of course not responsible for enforcement of this new speed limit, we do aim to continue our campaign to educate drivers on the importance of sticking to the speed limit, to make Moniaive a safer and a more pleasant place live, work and visit.
Remember: PLEASE GO SLOW through Moniaive!