HELENSBURGH parents have accused Argyll and Bute Council of “putting their children’s lives at risk” by leaving a faulty pedestrian crossing out of order for more than three months.

The lights on Cardross Road, near to Campbell Drive, have not been working since January due to ongoing maintenance issues.

To add to the problems, the crossing has been completely blocked off by barriers, with residents unable to cross the busy dual carriageway until much further down the road, towards Hermitage Academy.

This has left parents of those attending nearby Colgrain Primary frustrated at the lack of action by the local authority and concerned over the risks.

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Lucy Wright, chair of the school’s parent teacher council (PTC), said: “This is a very busy road and even with the 20mph speed limit during school times it is unsafe to cross without these lights.

“Many parents have been trying to contact the council with their concerns since January. It is not good enough to allow this issue to just continue in the hope that no one gets hurt.

“We are very concerned how this is affecting the safety of our students who would normally use the crossing.

“We believe the precautions put in place are inadequate and due to the safety risks to children, fixing the lights should be made a priority.

“If this cannot be done because of the age of the lights then for our children’s sake a crossing guard person should be put in place during school times.

“To one and all it is an accident waiting to happen.”

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Although Colgrain Primary does have crossing patrollers, there are none currently situated at the dual carriageway.

Lisa Johnstone, whose 11-year-old son Kian attends Colgrain, said: “The kids either have to walk down to the Academy to cross the road or risk life and limb crossing without lights.

“When the lollipop man was there four years ago he told us that the lights were so old that replacement parts were not available then. So why didn’t they do something then? They knew this would happen and did nothing but put our kids’ lives in danger. That may sound extreme but that road is an accident waiting to happen in the morning.”

Debbie Gordon, who has an adult son with learning disabilities, added: “He’s able to go out to places he’s familiar with on his own but his road sense is practically non-existent.

“We live on Campbell Drive so he crosses there at least twice a day and it’s causing him stress and me a lot of worry.”

Hazel Ann Greig also criticised the council for failing to fix the problems sooner.

She said: “I’m in the new houses in Colgrain. My parents live next to the dual carriageway on Marmion Avenue and my dad uses a wheelchair. The crossing not working is a problem but the fact they have blocked all access to it means the alternative is to go directly into the road at the roundabout which is crazy.”

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An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: “The crossing point at Campbell Drive has failed and, after a full inspection by a specialist contractor, has been found to need a major upgrade. We have costs for the job and expect to have a contractor carry out the work within the next four to six weeks.

“Meantime, for safety reasons, we have closed the crossing and strongly advise people to use alternative crossings nearby.

"We appreciate this may cause difficulty or inconvenience for some people, but safety is paramount.”