A community councillor has called for urgent action after a near miss when a lorry mounted the pavement and nearly hit his son on the A78 through Fairlie.

David Telford, who has been championing safety causes on the main road for many years, alerted police to a frightening incident involving his son Dr Rory Telford which happened in Fairlie.

The incident happened in the narrow stretch of the trunk road between the Countess Steps and Glen Road.

Speaking at a recent community council meeting, Mr Telford said: "Rory was out for a morning run along to Hunterston and there were two lorries trying to pass each other. The lorry driver saw him running on the pavement but simply mounted the kerb in any case to pass the other lorry travelling south in the opposite direction - leaving him the option of either stopping quickly or being run over and killed. I don't think the lorries were travelling particularly fast but nevertheless the lorry mounted the pavement.

"If the road cannot be widened in this location then clearly we need two sets of traffic lights between the Countess Steps and Glen Road to allow for only one way of traffic going along the narrowest stretch of road.

"Transport Scotland have tried to tell us in the past that this is not permissible on a trunk road.

"This is quite simply not correct.

"There are exactly just such traffic lights at Minard on the A83 North of Lochgilphead - a major trunk road accessing all of Kintyre."

Mr Telford added: "The narrowness of the A78 trunk road is a real problem. Somebody is going to get killed unless action is taken."

The calls for action come at the same time that the A78 main road was raised as an issue over concerns of possible more lorry traffic coming to the area as a result of the oil rig decommissioning plans for Peel Ports Resource Centre at Hunterston.

Caroline De Jong-Briggs, who set up the Fairlie Safe Roads Initiative five years ago, said: "Fairlie has had issues with road safety for decades. I have often felt very vulnerable on the pavement. Many villagers felt obliged to act after the awful tragic event in 2013, when Fairlie Safe Roads and Pavements was initiated. Both North Ayrshire Council and Keith Brown the then Road Transport Minister offered their full support to road safety initiatives in Fairlie. Transport Scotland made some improvements with the speed activated traffic lights and renewed paint. But we really wanted 20 mph and 2 further sets of traffic lights. I was told Dawn Homes would put in one set of traffic lights at the north end of the village as part of their planning permission, but have since been instructed this condition was dropped. It is still very dangerous to walk or cycle through Fairlie. I'm very worried that industrial traffic will increase again with this decommissioning."

Mr Telford added that it was high time that a bypass was brought back into the reckoning in the next Local Development Plan: "It is an issue that has got to be considered. They have to look at various traffic calming measures as if this oil rig decommissioning goes ahead, there could be a huge amount of traffic coming through Fairlie, and nothing is being done about these narrow streets where pedestrians are at risk. Otherwise, it is simply an attitude of 'Ok, a few people might die, but so what?'

"Effectively as it stands it is a single track road with no passing places."

Labour councillor Alex Gallagher described the incident as 'ridiculous irresponsible driving' but urged those concerned to report any such matters to the police including licence plate registration and lorry company in future if there are any further incidents.

A Scotland TranServ spokesperson said: “It will be necessary for Scotland TranServ to investigate this issue further. We will raise the issue with our client, Transport Scotland at the earliest available time. We would ask community councils to raise such matters with us initially, through the correct channels in order that we can take a proper course of action."

Pic: Fairlie Safe Roads and Pavements.