Row over South Queensferry access road to new development

Residents living in a South Queensferry housing development have hit out at Transport Scotland for blocking plans to use an access road to a new housing development and instead sending traffic through their estate.

By Kevin Quinn
Monday, 28th February 2022, 5:00 am
Ferrymuir Gait in South Queensferry.
Ferrymuir Gait in South Queensferry.

Transport Scotland have blocked access through Ferrymuir Gait to future residents of the Ambassador Homes development currently under construction and are forcing traffic to use the narrow streets and junctions through the Varney Estate.

Ferrymuir Gait used to provide access to the former Moat House Hotel and now services a car park, EV charging points, the Forth Bridges viewing point, public toilets and a café.

Planning permission had been granted with three access points, naming Ferrymuir Gait as the main vehicle access with eastern access through Hugh Russell Place and Henry Ross Place.

The Ambassador Homes development in South Queensferry.

However, Varney Estate residents were left up in arms when they read the Roads Authority’s submission stating: “Should it not be possible for the applicant to establish a right of access through Ferrymuir Gait for future residents, the Roads Authority is satisfied that the remaining access via Henry Ross Place at the east of the housing development would provide suitable access for vehicles.”

Hamish Campbell, chairman of Varney Residents’ Association said: “This is unbelievable! It cannot be safe to add the traffic of 124 new homes to that of the 150 existing houses, all converging on the already congested Kirkliston Road junction, a main bus route.

“South Queensferry residents, who submitted 441 letters of objection primarily on this access issue, feel deeply disappointed and let down as they are basically being ignored.

"Planning Permission was granted, development well advanced, with some houses close to completion, and still the access issue has not been resolved.

Henry Ross Place on the Varney Estate.

”Transport Scotland allowed Ambassador Homes to use Ferrymuir Gait for construction traffic. This included large JCB vehicles, cranes, dumper trucks and a fleet of lorries. If the route was acceptable for this traffic, surely it can take the normal vehicles of a housing estate.”

In a letter to Ambassador Homes last July, Transport Scotland made it clear Ferrymuir Gait is a private road owned by the Scottish Ministers and does not serve as an access into this residential development.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “We currently remain in constructive dialogue with Ambassador Homes and its representatives over a number of matters and so it would not be appropriate to comment on the details of this given the ongoing discussions.”