SCOTS have been left outraged after a council removed pedestrian crossings, traffic lights and kerbs from a busy road.
One of Scotland’s first shared space schemes was introduced to Kinross High Street earlier this year.
The £1.5m scheme was introduced in a bid to allow both pedestrians and motorists to use the road equally.
But as far as locals are concerned, it won’t be long before someone is knocked over and killed.
Roads and pavements have been levelled to the same height along the 80 yard stretch of road in the town centre.
Lighter-coloured paving with no signage has replaced pedestrian crossings, and several bollards have been scattered around the community square to guide vulnerable members of the public.
Futuristic electricity points have also been installed that emerge from the ground by using a key supplied from the council.
And LED streetlights have been added, which locals say are so dimly lit they can barely see the bollards in the evenings.
During children’s outings the local nursery has to walk over 250 yards in an opposite direction to use the only pedestrian crossing in the high street in order to cross the road safely.
Sandra Findlay, a senior early years officer at Rosemount Nursery, said: “We have had to change our routes and risk assessments due to the new change.
“It’s great that the path is now wider at parts but it was much safer before when we had signage.”
Richard Allcoat, owner of Kinross Stamp Shop, says he witnesses at least two near misses a day from pedestrians trying to cross the road.
He said: “Somebody’s going to get killed. There will be a serious accident outside my shop. I watch out the window and you see people trying to get across, looking around, not knowing what to do.
“The odd driver does stop but every day I see at least two people almost get knocked over.
“It would be easier to put a pedestrian crossing, green for go, red for stop. It doesn’t take an idiot to work it out.”
Mandy Shepherd, owner of Mandy’s hairdressers situated in the community square, fears that reckless drivers could cause an accident or even hit into her building.
She said: “They shouldn’t have done this in a million years. It’s a nightmare.
“It’s shared space and no one is meant to park on it but they do and when you say anything, they just reply,’ Well there’s no yellow lines’.
“It’s meant to be traffic calming but I sit here scared just looking at the speed some cars race down the road. It won’t be long before one comes through my window.”
Jim Christie, 75, from Crook of Devon, Kinross, said, “I think it looks nice but there are some safety issues, particularly for people that are not local and not used to it.”
Pensioner June Liddle, 63, from Green Park, Kinross, said: “There’s an area where you’re meant to stop oncoming traffic. Most people don’t so at some point there is going to be an accident.
“Also, the bollards should have some sort of light on them as at night they blend into the same colour as the ground.”
Member of the Kinross-shire Civic Trust, Ken Mills, said: “The scheme is just ridiculous, it doesn’t work, is unsafe and costs far too much money. The bollards are horrendous, they look like a jungle of tombstones.”
Despite many locals not agreeing with the new layout, part time Interflora florist Lucy Halliday thinks that the changes have been just what Kinross needed.
She said: “It’s such an improvement. The place just looks so nice and clean now especially after the state the roads and pavements were in before.
“From what I’ve seen people know to stick to walking at the side of the roads so I think that this type of thing should be rolled out in more places.
“The only incident I’m aware of is last week a man drove into one of the bollards but that was because of the sun glare which can’t be helped. He was okay though.”
A spokeswoman for Perth and Kinross Council said: “The new shared space road layout in Kinross High Street was the subject of extensive public consultation and the scheme taken forward was supported by the local community.
“The shared space which has been constructed is user-defined and was designed to provide a space which is more user-friendly for pedestrians.
“It has been possible to create this new environment as the Kinross relief road is now in place and drivers have an alternative to the High Street to access parts of the town.
“As is the case with the majority of new schemes, the Council recognises that it may take some time for road users to become familiar with the changes but would remind drivers to be aware of the presence of pedestrians and drive accordingly.
“The scheme is currently being monitored and a road safety audit is due to be undertaken within the next few weeks.”