Speed cameras call over detour road crash fears

Lugton Brae residents claim cars are breaking the speed limit on the street
Lugton Brae residents claim cars are breaking the speed limit on the street
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CALLS to install speed cameras on a residential road being used as a major diversion have been ruled out, despite fears drivers could cause a fatal crash.

Lugton Brae, in Dalkeith, was closed in August to stop motorists from using it as an unofficial diversion after the A6106 shut in July because of subsidence.

When the road reopened last week, Midlothian Council bosses introduced a 20mph speed limit and banned heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) from using it to alleviate safety fears.

Angry residents said drivers flouting new rules were putting lives at risk and called for police-monitored cameras to be installed as a matter of urgency. But transport leaders rejected the calls, saying the cost of the move would be 
prohibitive.

Mechanic Ian Worrall, 25, said: “The vehicles going down the road are being driven at ridiculous speeds – in excess of 40 and 50mph – and there’s no way they could stop in time if someone was on the road.

“This is a safety issue – there could be a fatal crash. The money for the cameras needs to be made available.”

Retired resident Gregor Irving, 60, said: “We feel let down by the council in that they indicated that the speed restriction and HGV ban would be supported by appropriate measures and at the moment that’s not the case. It’s extremely 
dangerous.”

The calls for traffic cameras come after a major section of the A6106 Old Dalkeith Road was closed following the emergence two months ago of a series of mystery cracks running along a 100ft stretch.

Traffic was initially diverted along Melville Gate Road but council bosses reversed the decision after admitting the long detour had caused an increase in congestion and the potential for accidents.

Councillor Bob Constable, who has responsibility for roads, said: “A 20mph speed limit is in place and there’s now flashing signs just being installed to remind drivers of that limit. We will obviously continue to monitor the situation but, at the moment, we feel these are the best solutions to what is a temporary problem.

“Spending thousands of pounds on cameras is not an option. However, we will be recording drivers’ speeds and, if there’s cause for concern, we will be reporting back to the full council.”