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Slow down! Parents and Highland councillors in Inverness call for residential street speed reduction after child injured while out playing in Milton of Leys


By Louise Glen

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Child injured in Milton of Leys. Picture: Duncan Macpherson.
Child injured in Milton of Leys. Picture: Duncan Macpherson.

PARENTS and councillors are calling for a 20mph limit in a residential area in Milton of Leys, after a six-year-old child was struck by a car.

Inverness south ward councillors Duncan Macpherson and Ken Gowans want action to be taken after the accident, saying a speed reduction should be introduced as quickly as possible.

The Milton of Leys street where councillors are concerned about speeding drivers. Picture: Duncan Macpherson.
The Milton of Leys street where councillors are concerned about speeding drivers. Picture: Duncan Macpherson.

While residents in the housing estate at Balvonie Street say this accident was relatively minor, they say due to the number of drivers in the area who may be travelling at 30mph, or more, the outcome could have been tragic.

Mum Laura Mackenzie said: "It was such a near miss, and it could have been so different if the driver was going any faster, or if my daughter had been further onto the road.

"This was no fault of the driver. In fact,he believes the same as us, as he has seen a few near misses, and wants speed bumps to be installed.

"It has been about six weeks since my daughter's last xrays, and she is recovering physically ok. But she is very cautious about going out - she says 'mummy I am scared of cars now', this was so scary for her.

"We just need to put it right now."

Councillor Duncan Macpherson said: "Residents in an Inverness housing estate would like to see a 20mph zone introduced before a serious incident occurs at Balvonie Street in Milton of Leys.

"I was contacted by Laura Mackenzie from Balvonie Street in Milton of Leys, she sent me photos of her child’s leg injuries after her daughter had stepped out between two parked cars to join friends playing at an open green space nearby and been struck by a passing car.

"Mercifully the child’s injuries were minor and Laura was keen to point out that the driver, a local resident, was thankfully driving slowly and he was not at fault, as he has spotted a small group of young children gathered at the open green space area.

"The collision between car and child brought the safety of children playing outside at the housing estate into sharp focus for local parents."

He continued: "Other residents were thankful that on this occasion it hadn’t been a case of delivery van drivers whizzing around the estate delivering parcels door to door.

"The residents are keen that Highland Council look at the signage and road layout, to help inform delivery drivers and visitors unaccustomed to the layout of the housing estate, that children are at play and they should drive slowly and carefully.

"This has been a close call and a warning to drivers and parents about driving carefully when in built up areas of Inverness."
He added: "Highland Council’s road safety team have agreed to my request for a visit to the site and to make recommendations for safer streets and improved signage to alert drivers to children playing nearby."

Councillor Ken Gowans added: "There has been another accident involving a child in Milton of Lays. Luckily the child avoided very serious injury but still has a very badly damaged foot, It could have been much worse and I cannot imagine the distress this has caused the family and wish the child speedy recovery.

"It is clear that the child had a very lucky escape. This is not the first time a child has been injured in an area which is expanding rapidly and experiencing much higher volumes of traffic.

"Calls for 20mph zones are a recurring feature in many residential areas, especially in areas where we have a younger demographic."

He added: "The council has discussed this previously and I believe there is significant support for speed reductions in residential area across Highland. There is no doubt that reducing speed limit in residential areas save lives and reduce the risk of injury."

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