Edinburgh traffic: Drivers handed penalties for flouting no left turn on busy Leith Walk junction next to school
Scores of drivers have been issued fixed penalties after flouting a new no-left-turn sign on busy Leith Walk junction next to a primary school.
Police confirmed they issued nine fixed penalty notices on Monday alone as part of a recent crackdown on drivers ignoring the signs at the busy crossing – more than double the number from three weeks ago.
Patrols have been stepped up after officers on site on October 9 said they had reported four drivers for breaking the no entry rules. It comes after a terrified pedestrian claimed he was almost hit last week and shared a video of several vehicles ignoring signs and turning into the junction.
Footage was uploaded to Twitter of drivers behaving aggressively and abusively towards a local resident who attempted to deter drivers from wrongfully turning despite the signs.Twitter users said they spotted drivers making the turn with one calling for increased camera surveillance at the junction.
Community police officers have continued to take action against drivers breaking the rules after complaints were made to Police and community councillors from the start of October. Councillor Jack Caldwell called out ‘shameful’ drivers for dangerous driving after hearing from worried parents whose children attend Leith Walk Primary school.
Earlier this month Mr Caldwell spotted 7 drivers in 10 minutes illegally turning left into a green-man, with reports some only stopped ‘at the last minute’ as they approached the lollipop man. Edinburgh Trams put up an extra sign after Mr Caldwell raised the alarm.
He said: "I'm grateful to Roads teams and the Trams to Newhaven Project for taking action to reduce the immediate risk through temporary lights, but it's clear that Edinburgh's pedestrians shouldn't have to compromise due to frustrations on the road network. Its critical we have cool heads and adherence to the Highway Code now we're in the last two months of some very long infrastructure projects."
"Residents have been making massive compromises over the last 10 years, so I'll continue dialogue with colleagues and the Trams to Newhaven Project for a a needle-sharp focus on pedestrian freedom of movement for Leith Walk pedestrians."
"Critically, our Transport and Environment Committee must also scrutinise the result thoroughly as the final designs take shape".
Local Green councillor Susan Rae told the Evening News: “I have been watching the relentless stream of drivers flaunt the law then consistently attempt to justify this
by shifting responsibility onto everyone apart from the people behind the wheel of the cars causing havoc. I understand that the combined effect of roadworks, trams works and Scottish Water works have caused deep frustration and inconvenience for all road users, but simply ignoring lights and signage is both irresponsible and illegal. I’m thankful and grateful to those who are trying to resolve this, including the public who have been amazing, and would implore drivers to stop putting others at risk for the sake of their own convenience."
Edinburgh North East Police tweeted on Sunday: #NECPT and #NEST officers responding to community complaints have continued to conduct enforcement action in relation to vehicles contravening no left & no right signage at Leith Walk / Brunswick Road. A number of drivers have been reported.”
Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “Right and left-hand turns into Brunswick Road are not permitted, as signage at the junction clearly specifies. Anyone who does this is breaking the law and endangering other road users. We raised this matter with Police Scotland and I’m pleased to see they are enforcing this.
“The Trams to Newhaven project team have installed additional signage and traffic management to reinforce the message, and will continue monitoring the junction. The signage is both clear and unmissable, so I hope that those choosing to ignore it feel the full force of the law.”
Police Scotland has been contacted for comment.