Kate Forbes MSP welcomes road safety work at “dangerous” Skye road

Kate Forbes MSP wrote to Transport Scotland earlier this year to ask them to conduct a speed survey on what is presently a 60mph limit. Photos credit: Willie Urquhart – WHFP.

Transport Scotland are to undertake road safety improvements at the Sconser ferry junction on Skye, according to local MSP Kate Forbes.

In a letter to the member for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, Transport Scotland said they would be improving visibility at the junction, as well as constructing a footway to move the bus shelter on the south side of the A87.

A traffic count and speed survey are current underway, and a pedestrian movement survey has also been carried out – with reports from these due later in the summer.

Earlier this month the Free Press reported on calls for a lower speed limit near the junction. Concerns about the current limit of 60mph were raised in a letter to the Free Press by Raasay Community Council Chair Anne Gillies last month.

Commenting on the latest developments, Ms Forbes said: “This is a very positive letter from Transport Scotland.

“I’m delighted that Transport Scotland have confirmed progress in the traffic survey at Sconser and are already looking to address some of the challenges here.

“There’s no question that there are difficulties as cars pull off to park in line for the ferry.

“Ultimately, I want to see road safety prioritised at the junction, and I know that is Transport Scotland’s priority too. I’m glad this whole issue is getting the attention that it deserves.”

The current speed limit at the Sconser junction has been the source of much debate with Kate Forbes backing a reduction in the present speed of 60mph.

Reacting to this week’s news, Ms Gillies said: “Any improvements to vision at the ferry terminal are very welcome, as are measures taken to slow traffic down.

“Transport Scotland has already stated that there have been no material changes at Sconser, which I refute – for example, new building and traffic volume – and therefore no need for a change to the speed limit. However, I think that final decisions should wait until the traffic survey has concluded.

“Traffic lights at the junction, operating when the ferry is in, would remove most of the danger and compensate for very poor visibility at a junction used by hundreds of vehicles in an hour.”

She added: “Any collision at Sconser could have a serious impact on traffic through Skye – it is the only road between the north and south of the island.

“I hope that Traffic Scotland will meet with the affected communities of Raasay and Sconser before final decisions are taken.”

The Free Press recently published the results of a snap 24-hour poll run via Facebook which asked whether people thought a lower speed limit should be introduced on the A87 at the Sconser ferry junction.

A total of 477 votes were cast during the snap poll. A total of 363 votes (76 per cent) were received for ‘yes’ to a lower speed limit, while 114 votes (24 per cent) were cast saying ‘no’ to a reduction in the current speed of 60mph.

Article by Adam Gordon.