South Queensferry residents' fury over impact school extension plans may have on 'chaotic' Station Road
Locals are angry at possible plans to extend Queensferry High School, with fears that the proposals will exacerbate traffic issues on the town’s already problematic Station Road.
City of Edinburgh Council is currently consulting on adding extra school capacity, either by extending Queensferry High School or building a new secondary school in Kirkliston or West Edinburgh for pupils from Kirkliston.
Residents were already concerned about the road, which has two primary schools as well as the high school situated on it. As the one-way system in the town centre already diverts traffic along Station Road.
Nicola Allen believes the proposal to extend Queensferry High will only make local traffic issues worse if the extension is chosen. The 36-year-old said: "Station Road is so chaotic. Trying to get through on that road is very difficult due to all the parked cars.
“Edinburgh Council, in its wisdom, made the High Street one-way, and in doing so, forced all traffic along Station Road, past three schools. Two of the schools have no parking, and the high school has a limited amount. The overspill all ends up on Station Road. It is chaotic at best and downright dangerous at worst.
“The council’s poor planning has resulted in them wanting to possibly build an extension to the brand new high school. Not having anywhere else to put it, the council is proposing taking a good half of the already inadequate car park to build it in."
Nicola is worried that locals aren’t aware of the proposals and believes that extra school capacity should be built elsewhere. She said: "To propose this extension as a viable solution to the need for more school places is insanity, absolute insanity. They should have already built a high school in Kirkliston instead of kids from there having to go to Queensferry High.
"What the council is proposing will make the situation on an already problematic road much worse. The council report says the extension might impact on traffic, but that is nonsense, as it will definitely make things worse, and it’s bad enough as it is.
"The people of Queensferry who are aware of this are rightly outraged – but there are plenty who won’t even be aware, as no letters have been sent. We only noticed it on the council’s Facebook page. They haven’t communicated with us properly.”
When Nicola posted the proposals on ‘The Only Way is the Ferry’ Facebook page at the weekend, locals were surprised and angry at the plans. With most of the comments echoing Nicola’s concerns about traffic already being a problem on Station Road.
‘We welcome ideas for other solutions’
Cllr Joan Griffiths, convener for education,children and families at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Our projections show that Queensferry High School will not have the capacity to accommodate the increase in pupils as a result of the new housing developments in the area. This means we have to consider all options going forward to meet the expected demand.
“I want to make it quite clear that no decision has been made. We’re inviting people to give us their views on three possible solutions which are to build an extension to the current high school or build a new high school in Kirkliston or West Edinburgh for pupils from Kirkliston. We also welcome ideas for other solutions.
“Our extensive consultation with the local community is ongoing so we can get everyone’s views on the best solution for the community. This has included e-mailing all parents at affected schools and early years settings with information, holding four well-attended public meetings and promoting the proposals on our Consultation Hub.
“There’s still plenty of time for people to tell us what they think as the consultation is open until 5pm Monday 16 January. Once we have the community’s feedback we’ll publicise the proposed next steps in February, taking into account everyone’s views and ideas, before Councillors on the Education, Children and Families Committee consider the report in March.”