ANGRY residents have called for action to tackle speeding motorists on a notorious stretch of the A814 between Helensburgh and Dumbarton.

Householders in Ardoch, to the east of Cardross, say it’s only a matter of time before someone is killed or seriously injured on the busy road.

Residents pleaded for action after an accident in the early hours of Friday, May 1 involving a white Kia.

Householder Raymond Bentinck awoke that day to discover the car had apparently crashed off the road, through a hedge, over a burn, through a fence, through another hedge and had demolished a wood shed before striking a tree in his garden.

No-one was inside the car when it was found, but a 28-year-old woman from Helensburgh was subsequently charged with dangerous driving.

READ MORE: In Pictures: Car crashes in to garden on A814 Helensburgh-Dumbarton road

Worries over speeding in the area were first reported in the Advertiser in 2011, and have continued since the speed limit was reduced from 60 miles an hour to 40 in 2013.

Several Ardoch residents brought their concerns to a meeting of Cardross Community Council last week.

Mr Bentinck told the meeting he had raised safety concerns with Argyll and Bute Council’s head of roads following the accident at the start of this month – and said he was “aghast” at the response he had received.

He said: “The response speaks about one accident in Ardoch since 2016. That is inaccurate.

“Less than two years ago a van ploughed into my boundary wall, taking down a lamp-post. Then another van ploughed into a separate lamp-post.

READ MORE: Speeding motorists told: Helensburgh police are watching you

“We’ve had four or five accidents in Ardoch in the last two years. Action needs to be taken to protect people’s lives.”

The section of the A814 through Ardoch has a 40mph speed limit – but Mr Bentinck said traffic in both directions repeatedly and regularly breached that limit.

“People are going at speeds far greater than 40,” he said.

“We’re getting to the end of our tether.”

Another local resident, Emma Alexander, said she knew of three vehicles that had lost control and crashed in Ardoch in the six months since she moved to the area.

READ MORE: Council urged to repair street lamps on A814 in Ardoch

She added: “We use the pavements in Ardoch to get to the beach, or the bus stop, or to walk our dogs.

“We shouldn’t have to worry about cars flying off roads and into walls, potentially killing someone.

“If any fatality were to happen, how could we live with ourselves when we’ve had so many warnings?”

Argyll and Bute councillor David Kinniburgh, whose Helensburgh and Lomond South ward includes both Ardoch and Cardross, said the council could only act on the basis of police accident records.

Cllr Kinniburgh said: “My understanding is that Police Scotland will only record an accident as an accident if it involves a slight injury, a serious injury or a fatality.

READ MORE: Six drivers charged in roads crackdown by Helensburgh police

“With the accident that occurred recently: how anyone managed to come out of that unscathed is remarkable, but I understand that it won’t appear in police statistics as an accident because nobody was injured.”

Cllr Kinniburgh said a Police Scotland speed survey in October 2019 recorded only 1 per cent of vehicles travelling “above a level that Police Scotland would enforce”, and added: “Fifty-eight per cent of vehicles were complying with the speed limit, which is above the national average of 52 per cent.”

Police Scotland said that contrary to Cllr Kinniburgh’s understanding of the situation, the May 1 crash had indeed been recorded in police figures as one which involved an injury – and added that local authorities could take road safety decisions based on information other than police crash data.

Chief Inspector Darren Faulds from Police Scotland’s road policing unit said: “Police Scotland has a statutory requirement to record all injury and fatal road traffic collisions and provide this data to the Scottish and UK governments.

“By using a centralised system, all staff recording collisions follow a nationally consistent process which ensures we can share the statutorily required data in a timeous manner with partners for road safety purposes.”

READ MORE: Click here for all the latest Helensburgh and Lomond news headlines