Safety concerns for Bankhead residents

Bankhead Terrace.
Bankhead Terrace.

CALLS for Bankhead Terrace in Forfar to be widened were made at last month’s meeting of Forfar Community Council after an appliance from Tayside Fire and Rescue struggled to get along the road (writes Janet Thomson).

Chairman Mrs Isobel Ross explained the rescue service was called out to deal with a fire in a washing machine, but the appliance had difficulty in reaching the house because of cars parked along the narrow road.

She feared someone’s life could be put at risk if the emergency services couldn’t reach the houses.

She said: “I hope we don’t have to wait until there is a fatality. The road needs to be widened for safety reasons.”

Angus Councillor Glennis Middleton informed the meeting she had first raised the issue of the narrow road in 1995.

She said: “At that time there were difficulties for furniture lorries, the bin men and an ambulance. They found it almost impossible to get along the narrow road.

“One resident had to be carried along to an ambulance in the snow in January. There is loads of room there for the road to be widened.”

When contacted, Bankhead Terrace residents Roy and Jean Kydd, who have lived in their Bankhead Terrace home for 23 years, said the situation was “getting beyond the joke”.

Mr Kydd said that when he had a heart attack two years ago the ambulance was forced to reverse all along the road.

He said: “I would welcome any plans to widen the road. The fire brigade would never get near our house. It’s the safety of the householders that’s at risk. Last winter, not once did we get a salt lorry along this road. The residents all chipped in to pay for a man to come with his tractor to open the road.”

The couple have had problems getting items delivered to their door, with delivery drivers refusing to drive along the Terrace.

Mrs Kydd continued: “We had a new suite delivered last year and the men had to carry it all along from the end of the road. The bin lorry can’t get along and the bin men empty our boxes at the end of the road, and then leave them there. We keep getting told there’s no money to widen the road. but we pay our council taxes like everyone else.”

Derek Thomson, district liaison manager with Tayside Fire and Rescue for Brechin, Forfar and Kirriemuir, confirmed the service had been called to a fire in Bankhead Terrace last month and that the crew were unable to make it to the end of the road.

He said: “From a fire fighting point of view the ideal situation is to get a fire appliance to the front door, but in the real world we don’t manage to do that all the time. We sent a fire crew in with a C02 extinguisher and a further crew ran out water supplies. It’s not ideal but it does happen quite a lot. There are hundreds of thousands of streets like that but nothing would hamper us doing our work.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “The council has received enquiries from both Forfar community council and residents regarding parking in Bankhead Terrace. There is a history regarding parking in this street and the concerns which have been raised will be investigated. In due course, the community council and local residents will be advised of the outcomes of the investigations.”