Sat 29 Apr, 2017

Last week highlighted the latest in a raft of concerns caused by inconsiderate driving and parking in Kirkcaldy, this time at Torbain Primary School, where residents are so concerned about the safety of pupils that they are proposing closing the road to cars at drop-off and collection times. If elected, I would make addressing this issue a top priority. 

Having worked in the field of sustainable transport for the past five years, I am aware of the reliance that people place on cars, which continues to grow. However, this is a key issue that needs to be addressed, in order to reduce pollution,improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, and increase equality(with safe and viable alternative transport options provided for those without access to a car). 

Kirkcaldy has done a lot of work over the past few years to improve the network of segregated cycle paths across the town, which includes a path travelling virtually to the front door of the school. In addition, the school is one of many that has provided Bikeability training to teach its pupils how to cycle safely on the road. However, this is not a one-way street, and it needs to be accompanied by considerate driving and parking by parents. Combined with a reduction in the number of parents who drive their pupils to school, this wouldcreate a much safer road environment for all concerned. 

Changing people’s attitudes to road safety, so that they view themselves as part of the solution rather than adding to the problem, is a challenging issue, but one that I would make a high priority if elected. I would work with local residents, teachers and parents to address these concerns by encouraging and facilitating greater use of the options for sustainable transport available to pupils, many of whom would rather walk or cycle to school if they were allowed to.

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