Traffic lights for Laxdale Bridge

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Councillors are this morning (Wednesday) considering a plan to place traffic lights at Laxdale Bridge to ease queues.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hear a presentation by consultants Atkins Highways on solutions to the issues at the Bridge.

In March this year the Comhairle decided that as a result of the Budget Strategy 2013-15 the three bus service contracts serving Laxdale School and the Nicolson Institute would not be retendered after April 2014 and as a result there could be additional traffic movements at Laxdale Bridge.

The consultants’ study consulted with Stornoway councillors, Comhairle staff, representatives from Laxdale School Parent Council and Police Scotland.

The options considered included bridge replacement and widening as well as the installation of traffic signals. The Comhairle has identified funding for the signalisation of the Bridge, which is in the region of £50,000. Provision has not been made for the bridge replacement or widening project which is likely to be in excess of £1million.

In a report before members today, it was stated: “The traffic study is predicting a significant benefit to the morning traffic queuing issue at Laxdale Bridge through both the widening and the installation of traffic signals. As funding has been identified previously for the installation of traffic signals it is proposed that the Comhairle proceeds with this option in the meantime, also considering the ancillary safety measures required for road crossing.

“The effect of removing transport provision from Laxdale Bridge is predicted to increase the queuing times at Laxdale Bridge. The net effect, following the installation of traffic lights, is predicted to be an improvement on the current situation.”