Dean Lockhart MSP and Cllr Martin Earl have welcomed the news that official signage is available to advise motorists where Red Squirrels are crossing our roads.
There have recently been examples of large numbers of these scarce native animals being killed on our roads.
For example, In Argaty and Brig O’Turk there have been over fifteen red squirrels killed in the past few months.
In response to a parliamentary question by Dean Lockhart MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport admitted that the Scottish Government does have the power to authorise official road signs warning road users of the presence of red squirrels.
This was despite Stirling Council stating that there was no such official signage available to the Council to erect.
Dean Lockhart submitted the following question to Transport Secretary Michael Matheson:
Dean Lockhart (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on introducing official road signage to warn road users of the presence of red squirrels.
Michael Matheson: The Scottish Government has approved official road signs warning road users of the presence of red squirrels for a number of locations across Scotland in the past and will approve similar applications at other locations that are considered appropriate. Consideration will also be given to incorporating these signs into a future amendment of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, removing the need for authorisation.
Dean Lockhart MSP said:
‘’Red squirrels are an iconic part of life in rural Scotland and we should be doing all we can to protect them.
‘’It is now imperative that Stirling Council put together a case to the Scottish Government to authorise the installation of signs in key locations such as Argaty and Brig O’Turk.
‘’I will also support any measures the Scottish Government put in place in terms of amending regulations which remove the need for authorisation for these particular signs.’’
Cllr Earl said:
‘’I am pleased this question was asked and it has been clearly established that Councils can get signage introduced.
‘’I would ask that areas be identified quickly so this can be progressed to prevent more of these endangered animals from being killed on our roads.’’