Letters from our readers

From the postbag of August 8, 2012

Sir, – As a retired press photographer I get called out to local incidents.

Sadly, once again, Wilderness Brae has claimed three more lives.

The cost of a human life is priceless, the cost of calling out air ambulance helicopters, fire and rescue, ambulance, police to the latest fatal incident must have been in excess of the cost of decent life saving crash barriers.

Another point, when I was at the crash scene the day after I was angered at the stupidity of the drivers zooming past me in excess of the speed limit.

Wilderness Brae is not the only racing track in Cumbernauld, another is South Carbrain Road where idiots think nothing of careering along this straight without thought for man nor beast. Strathclyde’s finest could make a fortune by policing this road with random speed cameras. Either that or NLC could place sleeping policeman road barriers at major points along these speed tracks. No more road deaths please. – Yours etc.,

BILL HENRY

via e-mail

Wave of anger

Sir, – I was saddened and dismayed to hear about the three deaths on the A8011 this week. First I would like to offer my condolences to the three families who have lost loved ones in this dreadful accident.

I find it astonishing that North Lanarkshire Council have spent £1 million on the unwanted and eyesore waves at either side of the Town Centre (which I believe are a safety issue for drivers anyway). The taxpayers’ money spent on these waves could have been better used by installing safety barriers on the central reservation the full length of the Wilderness Brae.

These latest three deaths could have been avoided and the families would not be in mourning for their loved ones had barriers been installed before. We in Cumbernauld seem to be the forgotten ones where NLC spending is concerned, Coatbridge, Airdrie etc to name but a few seem to do better than us. – Yours etc.,

MATTHEW SIME

via e-mail

Stop a repeat

Sir, – I was appalled when I heard of another fatal accident on the road we know as Wilderness Brae. I was even more sickened when, on our national news, it could be seen that this accident occurred at almost exactly the same spot as another a few years ago that caused the deaths of a number of car occupants. I do not wish to be insensitive to the feelings of grief those families from Cumbernauld felt at the time and what they are likely re-living now but we must all be recalling their pleas for proper barriers to be installed on this road following that tragic accident a few years ago.

In yesterday’s accident, one car seemingly crossed the reservation on the dual carriageway and collided with another travelling in the opposite direction. From what was published at the time, this was almost the exact circumstances of the previous road fatalities that led to the implementation of lowered speed limits on the brae.

While lowering the limit was the correct thing to do, this cannot stop what happened yesterday. No one knows what has caused one car to cross over into the opposite carriageway. Regardless of cause it is pointless after the event to look to apportion blame. I’d like to think our local authority’s primary aim would be to eradicate the possibility of this happening again.

When the previous accident caused the fatalities mentioned above the families of those victims welcomed the eventual imposition of reduced speed limits. They also however called for central barriers to be installed to stop cars crossing over into the oncoming traffic. For whatever reason, this has never been undertaken and the road continues to hold the same dangers as shown yesterday.

We now surely have to question our local transport authority on what they intend doing with regard to the construction of central barriers on this stretch of road in the heart of our community. It is possible that if we had spent money on this rather than some showcase of lights and tin plates on the same road there would not be grieving families this morning.

Accidents will always happen. Circumstances can sometimes take these occurrences out of people’s control. Sometimes, it is not simply human error that causes these things to happen either. We will never fully avoid accidents happening on our roads. What we can do is ensure that where one vehicle goes astray, it cannot meet, head on, another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction at a potential cumulative impact of 100 miles per hour, even if both are only travelling within the legal limits of the road.

The construction of central barriers used to be highly complex and expensive. I am sure we can now see that this complexity and expense can be greatly reduced with how this was done in the M80 upgrade. Simple sectional concrete barriers on our motorways are now seemingly the solution of choice. I am equally sure this could be the solution on the stretch of road that saw the loss of three lives yesterday and that this solution could be brought into effect without major delay.

I am hopeful that those who are elected to lead and look after our community’s interests can and will put their influence behind driving such a solution into place and create a real and tangible benefit for our community in Cumbernauld and reduce the potential for such carnage on this road that many of us and our families travel on with frequency.

My thoughts and sympathies go to the families of those that died yesterday. We must make sure that we can learn from that dreadful occurrence and take steps to stop this same situation from affecting more families in the future. – Yours etc.,

PAUL HOLDEN

via e-mail

Barrier plea

Sir, – Yet again we have carnage on the Wilderness Brae with the loss of yet another three lives. Is it not time that the Scottish Government and NLC protect the people using the road by putting up a crash barrier to help stop the deaths? The costs would far outway the terrible heartache involved when a loved one is lost for the sake of a crash barrier. – Yours etc.,

R STOBBART

via e-mail

nAs this was such an important local issue we decided to devote extra space to it this week.

For more letters, see page 18.