Anyone who spends a little time in Darvel’s main street will know that there are far too many cars, vans and HGVs speeding through the town. Sometimes it can be alarming to see just how fast articulated lorries juggernaut past our shops, town hall and public spaces. I sincerely hope that this is not a prediction that comes true, but I can’t help thinking there is a disastrous accident waiting to happen.
The long straight Main Street seems to encourage speeding as drivers, who, with a distant line of sight, feel it’s ok to break the legal limits. There are more parked cars than ever before adding to pedestrian risk and danger. But this is not just a town centre problem. Careless driving can be seen on all stretches from Priestland to the Gowanbank.
The question is what do we, as a community, want done about it? There are only a few options. We could install more warning signage reminding drivers of their responsibilities. These, of course, would be ignored by the irresponsible. We could request traffic calming measures but what can be done (e.g. road bumps) is limited on A Roads and in 30mph restricted areas. A more radical but ultimately more effective option would be to zone all Darvel at 20mph.
We often get comments to the Community Council about road safety in our town. We also hear a lot of people say that the town needs to make it easier for through traffic drivers to stop, use the shops and have a coffee or lunch. This requires better stopping areas and improved facilities.
We need to develop a vision of what kind of town we want to be. One that is simply a fast pass through for vehicles travelling elsewhere or one that is an attractive place to stop, use the shops and possibly linger en route.
How we encourage driving behaviour alongside town centre regeneration, the development of the proposed Main Street Market, the establishment of a more fitting Fleming Tribute and the continued development of shops and trade are all interlinked and essential to our town’s future prosperity. If you feel strongly about this, we encourage you to make your views known by completing the Big Darvel Questions Survey which is an important input to our future plans and ability to attract funds.