West Edinburgh's traffic gridlock looks set to get a lot worse – Vladimir McTavish
I’ve only been away from Scotland for a short time. But, as it turns out, an awful lot can happen in six weeks.
When I left for Australia, we had just celebrated Burns Night, Nicola Sturgeon was still First Minister and Hearts fans thought their team had a good chance of winning the Scottish Cup. And the weather was depressing. OK, some things have probably stayed the same.
However, I am expecting to see some changes. For example, I am wondering how many more housing developments will have sprung up between Edinburgh Airport and Queensferry Road by the time I get home on Wednesday morning.
At the end of January, people were already moving into an estate the size of a small town which was sprouting up on Maybury Road. It looked like it was going to double in size before long. There was also another development well underway between there and the Maybury Casino, plus hoardings advertising some planned new estate between Ingliston and Ratho Station.
OK, we need more homes, Edinburgh has a serious housing shortage, but do they need to be built there? This is already one of the most congested routes in the city, if not the entire country, at peak times. Try driving to the airport or Livingston or Glasgow at rush hour and you might as well be sitting in a car park for 45 minutes, staring into the eyes of other poor souls coming in the opposite direction at a snail’s pace, visibly losing their will to live at a much higher speed than their car is moving.
Any time we have visitors arriving at Edinburgh Airport, I will offer to come and collect them. Obviously, only after I have asked them what time their flight is arriving. If they say nine in the morning, or 5.30 at night, I always tell them to get the tram. There are few people I like well enough that I’m prepared to sit through two hours of mind-numbing gridlock.
So who thought it was a good idea to throw a whole load more commuters into this already hellish bottleneck? Did no one at the council consider this when they granted planning permission? Two hours of gridlock? Make that three.