Gas repairs spark traffic ‘hell’ on key Edinburgh road

Cars ground to a halt as gas workers shut roads for emergency repairs

Cars ground to a halt as gas workers shut roads for emergency repairs

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DRIVERS were caught in a traffic “nightmare” after emergency gas repairs caused one of the Capital’s key roads to grind to a standstill.

Vehicles heading out of the city along Queensferry Road got stuck in long tailbacks on Thursday evening, with one driver saying it took an hour to move less than a mile.

It later emerged that the delays came as a result of emergency gas repairs in the Blackhall area.

One motorist, who did not want to be named, told the News that the delays were so bad it took him one hour and 15 minutes to travel a mere 0.7 miles.

He said: “I was on Queensferry Road for more than an hour just trying to turn left at a traffic light.

“It seemed the lights stayed red for about four minutes, let about three cars out and then it kept repeating. It just took an absolute age.”

Video footage taken on Thursday evening showed cars lined up in bumper-to-bumper along one stretch of the road.

The traffic appeared to be at its worst from 5-7pm as people leaving work got stuck in the delays on their way home.

Another commuter said that their journey home to Corstorphine, which usually takes around 20 minutes, took about an hour to complete and reported seeing tailbacks of around three miles.

She said: “I’ve never seen traffic like it – it was absolutely awful. At the time I thought it was bad weather. Everyone started trying to clever things and it just didn’t work.

“An ambulance was going by and nobody moved to let it by and that shocked me. It couldn’t get by. It was hell.”

She added with no obvious roadworks or apparent accident that it was not immediately clear what was causing the hold up.

However, it has since emerged that the root of the problem stemmed from emergency repairs being carried out by gas distribution network company SGN.

SGN said they had been forced to close part of Queensferry Road’s westbound side on Thursday evening to enable work to be carried out safely.

The closure, just past the Craigbrook/Quality Street junction, was lifted for yesterday evening’s rush hour, but reinstated this morning from 7am.

SGN spokeswoman Katie Lobban said: “We are aware this is a busy route and is causing disruption, so to help ease congestion we fully reopened Queensferry Road for yesterday evening’s rush hour.

“At this stage, it’s still too early to say how long it will take for our work to be complete. However, we are working as hard as we can to resolve the issue as soon as possible. We’d like to thank local residents and motorists for their continued patience.”

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk