Probe into notorious Newbridge roundabout problems

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A MAJOR £100,000 study to help ease traffic congestion at a notorious junction is soon to be initiated.

Bus lanes and a public transport interchange are two of the solutions that could be on the cards for the Newbridge roundabout after authorities agreed to fund the major study.

The intersection has been a congestion hot spot during peak hours for at least the past 15 years given its role as a road grade separation between the M8 and M9.

Both the A89 connecting to Broxburn and the A8 towards Edinburgh meet at the ­junction, which is a signal- ­controlled roundabout.

Edinburgh City Council will now lead the investigation into the snarled-up interchange, which is situated on the western edge of the airport and carries thousands of cars every rush hour. The study will investigate adding bus lanes stretching up to two miles on the A8 westbound and A89 eastbound approaches to the intersection.

Other upgrades to benefit bus movement through the “throttle point” will also be considered, but proposals to upgrade the junction itself by building a flyover or ramps to help traffic has been ruled out. Edinburgh Western MSP Colin Keir said: “If we can actually get the junction correct and get the traffic moving instead of sitting around in lines, maybe more people will use buses. If we can give them a free run through the Newbridge roundabout some way or another that would be most welcome. There’s a lot of roads coming into there. They really do have to look at how traffic is meant to be moving in a few years’ time.”

Congestion is predicted to increase around Newbridge, with sites such as Maybury and Cammo earmarked for thousands of new homes to meet Scottish Government targets.The impending opening of the new Forth crossing in 2016 has also to be taken into account.. West Lothian’s executive councillor for development and transport Cathy Muldoon said: “The Newbridge roundabout is a nationally significant development area and this is an important step forward in delivering improvements.”

City transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds stressed Edinburgh was yet to commit funding, but added: “Making it easier for people to travel by public transport is essential as it keeps traffic moving by giving travellers more choice and contributes to a cleaner, greener environment.”

The points of contention

1: Spur running off the M9 northbound. Heavy during peak hour.

2: One of the busiest spots as it contains an entry point to McDonald’s. Often heavy congestion.

3: Exit on to A89 towards Broxburn. Lights clog up traffic.

4: Turn-off from M9 to reach airport. Flows better.

5: Major congestion point. Traffic banks up on Glasgow Road during peak hour.

6: On-ramp to M9. Lacking bus lanes.