Campaign to block Edinburgh Rugby’s switch to Myreside

Edinburgh are currently based at Murrayfield
Edinburgh are currently based at Murrayfield
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RESIDENTS have united to fight Edinburgh Rugby’s plans to quit Murrayfield for a new home at Myreside.

The Guinness PRO12 side have struck a deal with George Watson’s College to play their home matches on the ground from next year.

Myreside’s capacity is to be increased to around 6000, with temporary stands erected ahead of matches, the first of which is scheduled for January 7.

However, leaflets from the ‘No to Edinburgh Rugby at Myreside’ campaign are being posted through letterboxes at homes surrounding the ground on Myreside Road.

An open letter to Edinburgh Rugby managing director Jonny Petrie and George Watson’s College principal Melvyn Roffe has also appeared online asking for the decision to be reversed. It states: “This development of the stadium will fundamentally change the nature of our quiet residential area.

“Thousands of people will regularly be travelling to and parking in the area – Myreside, Merchiston, Craiglockhart, Shandon/Harrison Park and Morningside/Craighouse.

“These plans will result in very large volumes of traffic being brought into the surrounding area, with road safety being a concern. There is already heavy congestion in the vicinity during peak times.

“We believe the limited public transport in the area will result in many hundreds of cars, minibuses and buses parking in surrounding areas.”

Mr Petrie said he was aware of the letter, but insisted Edinburgh Rugby would be a “good neighbour”.

He said: “I have been speaking right from the outset of this whole process with a number of residents groups and have proactively entered into discussions with them.

“Yes, there is clearly a bit of nervousness and uncertainty about what this move is going to bring, but we have been working closely with them over the last few months.

“Through the plans we have developed we have addressed the concerns they highlighted in the first place and we are looking forward to getting that moving. I am acutely aware that throughout this we need to make sure that we are being ‘good neighbours’ and that is very important to me.

“We will continue this consultation going forward.”

The club is hosting a public consultation event for the local community at the Myreside Pavilion on Wednesday between 4pm and 7pm.

Mr Petrie added: “In addition to sharing our plans to erect temporary stands and adapt the ground for Edinburgh Rugby fans, we will be able to share our transport plan to alleviate traffic and parking pressures on match days.

“This will include the creation of a park-and-ride service and additional car parking.”