Comment: Sheriffhall roundabout should never have been built at all

Sheriffhall roundabout has been earmarked for demolition
Sheriffhall roundabout has been earmarked for demolition
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if you had to choose the most frustrating place in Edinburgh, Sheriffhall roundabout would be hard to beat.

Some Hibbies and Jambos might suggest Easter Road and Tynecastle - plenty of football fans are only truly happy when they can moan about their own team. But for the sheer pointless waste of time that is sitting in queues at Sheriffhall there can surely only be one winner. It is an unhappy experience that tens of thousands of people have to endure each week.

The roundabout should never have been built in the first place. The whole point of a City Bypass is that it takes traffic straight past built up areas avoiding obvious causes of congestion. Sticking a huge roundabout in the middle of the road means that it falls at the first hurdle.

Just imagine how many hours are wasted needlessly every year by people sitting stuck in traffic at Sheriffhall. Building a flyover will solve that problem at a stroke.

The big question now is not so much which of the three options is best - all look like a massive step forward - but when it will be built. We have been talking in earnest for almost ten years about tackling the Sheriffhall bottlenecks and we still don’t have a date for when work will begin.

Today’s announcement has to be welcomed as a step forward but motorists will want to be assured that they won’t have to wait several more years for these improvements to become reality.

The massive investment in recent years in the city’s trams - however much some have objected - and the reopening of the Borders Railway have delivered big improvements to the transport options for thousands of people. The demolition of the Sheriffhall roundabout and building of a flyover will affect far more.

Traffic on the roads that run into it will only grow in the coming years as development in Edinburgh and Midlothian continues apace. Let’s have no more delays, let’s get the job done.