Edinburgh roads: 150 injured or killed in City Bypass crashes amid upgrade calls

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Calls have emerged for ministers to push ahead with plans for a flyover.

There have been 150 crashes on the Edinburgh City Bypass which have ended in fatalities or injuries in the last five years.

Calls have emerged for ministers to push ahead with plans for a flyover at the notorious Sheriffhall roundabout amid speculation the true figure could be higher due to ongoing police reviews of some collisions.

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The year 2019 saw 42 smashes involving deaths or injuries before figures dropped during the pandemic to 21 in 2020 and 27 in 2021. In 2022, they reached 32 before dropping again to 28 last year.

Transform Scotland wants the Sheriffhall flyover and improvements to the roundabout halted, along with all other new road schemes funded under the City Deals. Transform Scotland wants the Sheriffhall flyover and improvements to the roundabout halted, along with all other new road schemes funded under the City Deals.
Transform Scotland wants the Sheriffhall flyover and improvements to the roundabout halted, along with all other new road schemes funded under the City Deals. | Contributed

The £120 million flyover scheme has been criticised by some campaigners who would rather see money plunged into active travel schemes.

But Tory MSP for the Lothians Miles Briggs claims the collapse of the SNP’s agreement at Holyrood with the Scottish Greens provides an opportunity for the government to move forward with the scheme with less resistance.

Mr Briggs, whose party uncovered the figures, was told the project was under ‘active consideration’ when he asked transport secretary Fiona Hyslop about its progress.

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Ms Hyslop said: “The Scottish Government is committed to delivering the grade separation of Sheriffhall roundabout, as part of its £300 million commitment to the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

“Following publication of the draft Orders and Environmental Statement, Transport Scotland received a significant number of objections to the proposed scheme.

“Although Transport Scotland engaged widely with objectors, it was unable to resolve all objections. In view of this, a Public Local Inquiry was held from 31 January to 8 February 2023.

“As with all trunk road projects, this is the appropriate statutory forum for considering objections received and not withdrawn. The independent Reporter has now presented their recommendations to the Scottish Ministers and this is under active consideration.

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“Construction of the proposed scheme can only commence if it is approved under the relevant statutory authorisation process and thereafter a timetable for its progress can be set.”

Mr Briggs hit back by insisting motorists remained ‘frustrated’ with ‘congestion and safety issues’ on the A720.

He added: “These figures show scores of people have been killed or injured in recent years, and that safety improvement measures are urgently required.

“The Sheriffhall upgrade would help with safety and congestion, and is something that should have happened long ago. The Greens were the main obstacle – now they’re gone from government, there is no reason for the Scottish Government to delay this vital work any longer.”

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