Leith Walk London Road junction left hand turn issues continue after police take no action against 900 drivers

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After drivers were caught on camera making the illegal turn no information about the vehicles was passed onto Police.

More than 900 drivers who breached the no-left turn rules at the top of Leith Walk over a one week period faced no fine or other penalty, it has been revealed.

Several weeks after the council was notified about drivers making an illegal turn while pedestrians were crossing at a green man, a camera was installed by the council to monitor the junction. In that same month Edinburgh residents and councillors formed a human shield at the “lawless” junction to stop cars breaching the no-left turn signs.

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But through freedom of information powers it has emerged that the council only gave the number of breaches broken down by hour to the police. No information about the vehicles was handed over, meaning police couldn’t dish out penalties. It comes days after we reported that a police officer was caught and fined for breaching the no-left turn into London Road while pedestrians were crossing.

No action taken against more than 900 drivers who breached during one weekNo action taken against more than 900 drivers who breached during one week
No action taken against more than 900 drivers who breached during one week

Campaigners want to see a crackdown on drivers flouting the rules at the junction where it’s understood at least two people have been hit by cars since it reopened in November. Campaigner Edward Tissiman has called for increased safety measures to protect pedestrians and cyclists.

He told the Evening News: “I never expected the police to be able to prosecute all of the thousands of drivers who are making this dangerous turn - it's an overwhelming number. But I was disappointed to find that the council had not even documented those drivers, despite assurances from Councillor Scott Arthur.

“This problem will not go away. On the way to work this morning I watched as three drivers made an illegal turn through the pedestrian phase at this junction. Driver behaviour on Leith Walk has deteriorated to such an extent that our local police cannot hope to provide an effective deterrent to the dangerous driving that I, and thousands of other people, are subjected to every day.

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“Someone will eventually be killed or seriously injured at London Road,and the fault will lie entirely with the driver involved. However, the council does have a duty to take action to keep us safe - particularly those with visual impairments who won't get any warning."

Councillor Scott Arthur, transport convener, said: “The rate of offending by drivers has fallen since bollards were introduced, and I am pleased that the Police have reiterated their public commitment to protect pedestrian safety at the junction. Noting that the police have asked for information, I have again asked council officers to provide information to them to enable the investigation of any drivers involved in lawlessness at the junction.”

Chief Inspector Kieran Dougal, area commander for Leith, said: “We are aware of issues relating to the Leith Walk junction with London Road in Edinburgh and officers are working in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council to address concerns about road safety. This has included additional patrols and checks at the junction. Where infringements have been observed, enforcement action has been carried out. In addition, officers have been working to educate drivers, giving advice and making road users aware of the no left turn via social media.”