Some roads are notorious as playgrounds for speeding drivers, others are infamous for their tight winding turns, capable of dislodging cars in the blink of an eye.
These strips of tarmac, however, are neither.
These are Scotland’s most dangerous high streets. These are the innocuous town centre streets with a darker side. These are the streets we wouldn’t turn our back on, let alone step out onto without a green man!
So, enjoy the read, take care when you’re out and let us know about any other dangerous high streets on Facebook!
Maybole’s High Street
The A77 is a major southern artery, running southeast from Glasgow, past Kilmarnock, Ayr and Stranraer, finally terminating in Portpatrick on the Irish Sea.
Roughly half way along the road’s 91.7-mile length, lies Maybole, cleaved in two by the A77.
In Maybole town centre, the A77, which 10 miles earlier was just another A-road, suddenly becomes a narrow high street.
Ordinarily this wouldn’t be much of a problem but Maybole is a little different. You see, Maybole is old. The settlement can trace its roots back to the 12th century and many of the buildings that still stand alongside its High Street date back to the 1700s.
Maybole’s high street wasn’t designed with modern town planning ideals. There aren’t any wide pavements and pedestrianised areas. When they laid plans for the central road, they were thinking about a horse and cart not an articulated lorry!
Maybole High Street feels narrow with the pavements squeezed to the edges and little more than tarmac tightropes. At its narrowest point, the pavement is just 36 inches wide.
And pedestrians must navigate this while heavy lorries thunder by a foot or so from their shoulder — not nice at all!
Road safety campaigner, John Campbell, is unhappy with the lack of infrastructure development around the town and recently laid into national transport planners , saying:
Maybole is the most dangerous High Street in Scotland and is the only A road that has a 20mph limit.
The SNP MSP Jeane Freeman says she is working to make sure we see a bypass started as promised in spring 2017.
I think they quietly want us to go away but the community won’t. We are on life support and we haven’t even been sent a get well card.
The south-west of Scotland is being sadly let down by the SNP who are spending hundreds of millions on bridges and roads elsewhere.
Last year, the Scottish Government confirmed plans for a Maybole bypass, which would see much of the traffic routed around the compact town centre, improving safety and comfort for the town’s pedestrians.
The work is due to start in 2018 with the road opening in 2020. However, only time will tell if our wheels ever meet the bypass tarmac.
Cambuslang’s Main Street
Earlier this year, environmental campaign group, Friends of the Earth Scotland, made a worrying announcement: Cambuslang’s Main Street is one of the most polluted streets in Scotland.
Only city centre roads in Scotland’s four largest cities — Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee — scored worse!
The environmental group highlighted the high levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air — 45 micrograms per cubic metre. Nitrogen dioxide is gas released from car engines and, if inhaled, can cause respiratory problems if inhaled. In other words, definitely not something you want in your town centre!
Friends of the Earth Scotland campaigner Emilia Hanna said:
Air pollution from traffic is a public health crisis, claiming thousands of lives each year and particularly harmful for small children, pregnant women and people living in poverty.
For people living in an official Pollution Zone or near traffic-choked streets, breathing in toxic air is an inescapable fact of life. It should not be this way, we have the right to breathe clean air just as we have the right to drink clean water.
Hopefully, now that someone has shone a spotlight on the Main Street, the council will take action to improve the quality of the air.
Edinburgh’s George Street
I can hear you already! George Street? Really? One of the most dangerous in Scotland?
Well, while it might not pose a threat to pedestrians, it certainly does to drivers — or at least their wallets!
Back in 2014, it emerged that George Street parking attendants were the most ticket happy in the country, doling out an astonishing 9,401 tickets in one year.
Considering that George Street is only a couple hundred yards long, that is an unbelievable accomplishment!
But that was in 2014. Things must be better now, right?
Despite a year-long traffic restriction trial, parking attendants on George Street still issued the most tickets of all Scottish streets. In 2016, they dished out 7,652 fines, earning the council around £195,283.
So, if you’re in Edinburgh any time soon, please don’t park on George Street!