We missed the first one – but there will be another ‘drop in’ session consulting on the new hospital, which is now confirmed to be at the Garroch site west of Dumfries, and close to the A75. The session takes place on Thursday 22nd November at the Bakers Oven (which for those of you as baffled as we were by this address, is on the High Street, next to WH Smiths) and you can drop in any time between 10am and 6pm
Having had a look at the first plans, we have a couple of big concerns about the impact on cycling. First, it looks as if both hospital entrances are to be on the Glen Road (the old A75). While this makes sense in terms of access from the bypass for ambulances and so on, it will have a major impact on what is currently a key cycle route west of the town. Secondly, the plans at the moment make no mention of walking/cycle access to the hospital via the Maxwelltown path (which isn’t even noted on the plans) – it’s a shame that it doesn’t seem to be considered at all at this stage. Given the inevitable increase in traffic in the area, we’d like to see the viaduct at the end of the path reopened, allowing cyclists and pedestrians access to the hospital without having to cross what is already a busy road, and a side entrance without having to tackle the roundabouts near the A75. At a minimum there will need to be a toucan crossing from the end of the Maxwelltown path. We’d also like to see secure covered cycle parking for both visitors and staff, and that there are plans in place during the construction phase to ensure that cyclists using the existing routes do not have to mix with increased HGV traffic.
We’ll be putting all these points at the drop in event and in writing ourselves but the more people let them know it’s important the better, so please do come along to the consultation or write in if you can.