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Ten years ago…Willowglen Road blocked by carnival traffic

Traffic calming measures are en route for Willowglen Road in Stornoway later this month – although some nearby residents say that the first they heard of the plan was when a letter from the contractors arrived recently. 

The letter states: "We wish to inform you that Breedon Hebrides have been instructed by our client, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, to commence Traffic Calming Measures at Willowglen Road.

"We will be commencing these works on Monday 19th February 2024 for a period of 3 weeks.

"This work is weather dependant and will be completed as soon as possible. While we may identify parking restrictions as work progresses householders will be notified accordingly by the workforce.

"As you will appreciate, this will involve the use of heavy plant and will inevitably cause some disruption, but we will make every effort to minimise any inconvenience to the residents and travelling public."

One resident commented: "It would have been nice if the Comhairle had held some consultation with those living on the street as to the Traffic Calming Measures they intend doing."

A reference to the planned work exists in the CnES Statement for Reasons relating to the Assaye Place, Stornoway (Prohibition Of Driving – Except For Access) Order 2023 which implemented strict curbs on vehicles trying to use Assaye Place as a short cut between Willowglen Road and Macaulay Road. The aim of this order was to increase safety for pedestrians and road users in this area.

The document states: "In 2009 the Comhairle agreed to commence the process to implement a “Prohibition of Entry Order” which would have led to a one-way system being introduced on Assaye Place. However, following an objection and concerns over the resulting impact of traffic on the Willowglen Road/ A859 junction this was not continued.

"In recent years representations from residents and the local Councillor suggested a high volume of traffic travelling through Assaye Place from Willowglen Road at excessive speeds. The concerns related to the safety of children in the area who were playing on the footpath or cycling on the road. “On street” parking also restricted visibility if the road was busy.

"Traffic surveys were undertaken and although the average vehicle speeds were below 30mph these surveys showed evidence of Assaye Place being used as a through road at peak times."

Explaining how the measures were implemented, the document states that "it should be noted that there is a traffic calming scheme planned for Willowglen Rd."