West Lothian spaces for people plan approved

Wednesday June 7th 2023


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Stuart Sommerville

Plans to keep elements of the controversial Spaces for People programme launched during the Covid pandemic have been welcomed by councillors.

The SNP’s Diane Calder praised the latest round of consultation as the way the entire project should have been handled from the start – from local people upwards to Holyrood.

There were howls of protest at the most visible elements of Spaces for People – bus stops built out into main roads and the controversial cut to 20mph speed limits – introduced at the height of the lockdown

Community councils and local people have since been asked which of the measures introduced during the lockdown had been found useful.

Without exception works which had made junctions and side roads and cycle lanes safer were welcomed.

Schemes approved by the public consultation went before the latest meeting of the Environment and Sustainability Policy development and Scrutiny Panel, which approved their path to the Executive later this month .

Among the SfP roadworks which will be retained are:

– In Linlithgow. The west cycle lane in St Ninians Road Linlithgow will be removed and the east will remain, the Edinburgh Road cycle lane will be made permanent and the east loaning footway parking in Linlithgow will be removed as part of the West Lothian parking strategy interventions.

– Also in Linlithgow the temporary footway build outs will be made permanent in Linlithgow, and also in Mid Calder, East Calder and Kirknewton.

– In Blackridge, The advisory cycle lane road markings will remain.

– In Broxburn remaining bollards will be removed from East Main Street Broxburn cycle lane and the advisory road markings will remain;

– In West Calder the temporary footway build outs will be removed.

– When it meets later this month the Executive will have to agree to funding on works to keep the elements Linlithgow and villagers have asked for in Kirknewton, Mid and East Calder.

Roads Network Manager Gordon Brown told councillors: “This additional consultation with Ward Members, Local Area Committees and Community Councils that has been carried out allowed a further opportunity to comment on whether the SfP measures should be retained or removed.

“The feedback contained within this report will allow the Panel to comment on whether the remaining SfP measures should be retained or removed to submit to a future Council Executive for approval.”

Broxburn councillor Diane Calder told the meeting: “I’m happy that this report has now produced what the initial communication should have been about, and that is the involvement and communication with local people, LACs, community councils and local members.

Councillor Kirsteen Sullivan said: “The feedback of local members and the local community have been taken into account. I think that’s vital.”

The controversial speed reductions to 20mph in many of the county’s towns won few friends and councillors found themselves besieged with complaints.

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