Protest against Lesmahagow roadworks

FARMERS, activists and community councillors were out in force to protest against council roadworks in Lesmahagow.

Over 50 people took part in the protest against roadworks on New Trows Road, which has caused concern among the community with fears over the safety of road users and pedestrians.

Farmer Jim Clark was just one of the protestors who believes the roadworks are unnecessary.

He said: "There was a really good turnout. The timing was perfect as there were buses trying to get through and a lorry, which mounted the pavement, illustrating our point.

"The problems were there for everyone to see. Something needs to be done. It's total lunacy.

"It's not just about farmers. Everyone in Lesmahagow is concerned about this.

"I haven't spoken to one person who thinks these roadworks are a good idea.

"Although removing them means more taxpayers money will have to be used, it means no-one will be killed or seriously injured."

South of Scotland MSP Aileen Campbell also joined the protestors.

She said: "We all know the state of the roads around Lesmahagow need massive improvements — roadworks are supposed to make the situation better, not worse.

"The local community clearly feel very strongly about the issue, as shown by the impressive turnout at the demonstration.

"It raised other concerns such as the lack of parking near the doctors' surgery, the impact of the roadworks on small businesses and the

position of the new bus stop near the crossing, which obscures the vision of both pedestrians and drivers, making it very hazardous.

"South Lanarkshire Council needs to listen to what local people are saying about these so-called 'improvements'.

"Everyone in Lesmahagow wants to do their best to improve the appearance of the town and to have a fit for purpose road network but that means the council needs to work with the people who are there and engage with them.

"I will support and work with the local community in order to find solutions to all of these problems."

There were several community councillors at the protest.

One of them, Mairi Boyd, added: "The fact there hasn't been a lot of evident consultation is worrying.

"If the council had spoken to the community it would have known this was a bad idea.

"Another important point is we now have a bus stop next to a pedestrian crossing and people will try to overtake. People could get killed or seriously injured."

South Lanarkshire Council has responded to protestors' concerns.

A spokesman said: "We are currently involved in discussions and meetings with representatives from the farming community about the improvements to Lesmahagow.

"The next meeting is due to take place tomorrow (Wednesday) and we are hopeful of reaching an agreement which is satisfactory for everyone."