Portfolio Questions: Road safety in rural areas



2. Oliver Mundell (Dumfriesshire) (Con): 

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to improve road safety around schools in rural areas. (S5O-04122)


The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity (Michael Matheson): 

The Scottish Government is committed to achieving safer road travel in Scotland for all, including around schools. It provides funding to local authorities to create new or improved infrastructure, including around schools, through the places for everyone programme.


Transport Scotland funds Cycling Scotland to deliver bikeability training, which is available to all schools. Additionally, Road Safety Scotland has developed online learning resources for three to 18-year-olds, which is particularly useful for school teachers.


In accordance with local authorities’ statutory responsibility for local roads, it is for them to consider the most appropriate measures to safeguard schoolchildren in their areas.


Oliver Mundell: 


As local parents are, I am concerned that Dumfries and Galloway Council is systematically ignoring its obligations in relation to rural schools. At Duncow primary school, there have for years been broken flashing signs on a 60mph-limit road, and at Hottsbridge primary school large volumes of lorry traffic have been forced to drive past the school daily as a result of a long-term road closure. Will the cabinet secretary ask transport officials to approach the local authority to see what more can be done to support them to ensure that we do not have a very serious accident?


Michael Matheson: 

I am more than happy to ask my road safety colleagues in Transport Scotland to contact the local authority on those matters. Oliver Mundell is right to highlight safety issues, but that does not remove the statutory responsibility of the local authority to take the appropriate measures. I encourage him to continue to press the local authority and its executive leaders to make sure that they take the appropriate measures to address the safety issues that he is concerned about.