COUNCILLORS clashed over plans for a road redesign in Inverkip as part of the long-awaited city deal investment.

Traffic lights are to be installed at an accident blackspot junction on the A78 as part of £3m worth of infrastructure improvements which will help pave the way for future redevelopment at the old power station.

Local residents had been calling for action for years to prevent the steady stream of crashes which happen at the junction with the village main street, and many people wanted a roundabout.

Now officials have decided a set of lights is the best option, with a roundabout further along the road nearer to the old power station.

As the matter was debated at a meeting of the environment and regeneration committee councillors were told a 'signal control solution was the best option' - but not everyone was in agreement.

Councillor Innes Nelson voiced support for a roundabout with a new link road to the Kip Marina, with pedestrian bridge ramp re-alignment and a new signalised roundabout at the old power station .

He said: “Option two is what the people want, even if it is more expensive.

"It’s the better option for Inverkip and it’s what the public demand, they want a roundabout.”

Council leader Stephen McCabe said there was a risk the investment could disappear if agreement could not be reached.

He said: “The reality is that the professionals disagree with you.

"If we continue to dig our heels in the city deal project will fall.

“We will lose the project and these improvements and investment."

Councillor Ciano Rebecchi said: “The people I have shown the new plan to were happy with the lights because it was something to address road safety.

"Whether you like it or not it's better than what they have now.”

Cllr Nelson's motion for the roundabout option was defeated by Mr McCabe's amendment to proceed with the recommendation from officials.

Committee members voted 7-4 in favour of the amendment.

A report drawn up by officials said the options had been discussed in detail and a traffic signal solution was best 'in terms of traffic queues and journey times'.

It added: "A significant benefit of the traffic signal solution is that right turns out of Kip Marina are accommodated safely.

"At Brueacre, a roundabout on the A78 (which will include signal controls on the roundabout when the developments at Inverkip progress) is shown to operate satisfactorily and is deliverable.

The traffic lights scheme will now be subject to detailed design work and will eventually be included in the final 'business case' to be submitted to city deal bosses.