A COMMUNITY campaigner who lives on one of the town's busiest roads says a bypass to Inverkip should be built to reduce congestion.

Ivy Siegfried feels that drastic measures are needed to tackle the volume of lorries and cars driving down Dunlop Street.

Ivy, 82, says it has effectively become a trunk road in all but name and the time has come to divert traffic away.

She said: "There are thousands of vehicles using this road every day.

"I've never seen so many articulated lorries, some have eight on each side.

"The traffic goes up every year, there's going to be building work at Ravenscraig and more in Inverkip and all the lorries use Dunlop Street.

"The realignment at Baker's Brae means more lorries can use the road to travel to Inverkip.

"If this continues, houses will get shaken until they fall down.

Figures supplied by the roads department show that traffic volumes have increased by almost 2,000 vehicles in the last eight years.

The statistics show that there are 1,976 more vehicles using Dunlop Street this year than back in 2011.

Five day averages in 2011 were 14,346 vehicles and this surged to 16,306 in 2017 and 16,322 this year.

Ivy started campaigning because of the roads issue 20 years ago and says that is why Cowdenknowes' Residents Association was founded.

Ivy said: "We need another main road to Inverkip, perhaps along Woodstock Road and coming out onto the A78 at Branchton.

"Maybe the new houses at the old Ravenscraig Hospital site would allow for another road.

"It would certainly alleviate congestion and bypass Dunlop Street and Inverkip Road."

Ivy says Dunlop Street is not capable of coping with the increase in traffic over the years.

Speeds have gone down from 28.7mph in 2011 to 25.6mph following the installation of traffic calming measures.

But Ivy said some cars are still driving far too fast on the street, where hundreds of school pupils walk to and from Notre Dame High.

A further survey to gauge the impact of traffic calming is due to be carried out in January.

Councillor Tommy McVey, who obtained the figures from the roads department, told the Tele that the idea of a bypass merits consideration but added that the cash would have to come from the government.

Cllr McVey said: "The council has been working with the residents' association for many years to address their concerns regarding road safety issues on Dunlop Street/Cornhaddock Street.

"We now have traffic lights at St Patrick’s school as well as Murdieston Street, with 20mph signs with flashing lights in between.

"On Dunlop Street we have traffic islands to assist residents crossing the road, we have 20mph signs with flashing lights, we have yellow zig zag lines outside Notre Dame High, we have double yellow lines on some parts of the road and we have the newly installed chicanes with the additional signage as well.

"All these things are designed to improve road safety and I note that the average speed of the traffic has reduced since the chicanes were installed.

"I think the idea of some sort of bypass for Inverclyde, like the Ardrossan-Saltcoats-Stevenston bypass, is a positive idea however funding for that would have to come from the Scottish Government.