Falkirk Provost’s bid for funding to install safety barrier on Bonnybridge road

Falkirk Provost Billy Buchanan made a plea to fellow councillors to find £150,000 to install a safety barrier on a Bonnybridge road.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 3:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 3:20 pm

But when he took his proposal to a meeting of Falkirk Council this week, officials told him that they had also costed the project and the work needed would actually cost well over £3 million.

The Provost, who is also a local councillor for Bonnybridge, wants to see better fencing and safety barriers on a stretch of the Bonnybridge to Allandale Road (B816) that runs close to the Forth & Clyde Canal.

He said he was worried that the only improvements he had ever seen to the road had been made years ago after a tragic accident when a car went off the road into the canal and its occupants drowned.

Provost Billy Buchanan wanted safety barriers put up on the road

Recently, he added, a tree fell into the canal, taking part of the roadside with it.

Provost, Billy Buchanan

"This situation cannot continue," he said.

Mr Buchanan came to the council's budget meeting with a quote he had personally asked a company to provide.

He had originally approached George Walker Fencing several years ago when the firm was erecting fencing on the M80, and asked them for a quote for work on the B816.

Recently Mr Buchanan asked the contractor for an updated quote.

The new quote was for £112, 523 - but council officers said they believed the real cost would be well over £3 million. .

Douglas Duff said they had looked at the proposal in 2013 and structural engineers had said there was real concern that any barriers would effectively make the road narrower and, therefor, unintentionally, increase the risk of accidents.

When asked to explain the massive difference in two the costs, he said the type of improvements their engineers had been looking at would involve major retention works and possibly cantilever works out over the canal.

Councillors - including local members for the area - were concerned at the huge disparity between the costs and asked for further report.

Councillors were also keen that the local authority should be talking to Scottish Water about the fencing that is currently there, to make sure it is adequate.

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