Terrifying death trap’ claim over Edinburgh Spaces for People scheme lane reduction

A councillor has described one of the council’s new Spaces for People schemes as ‘a terrifying death trap’ - after drivers ignored prominent new signage installed over the weekend.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 4:45 pm

On Saturday, Edinburgh City Council road officials introduced new traffic arrangements on Silverknowes Road North, which reduced the road to one bus lane and one cycleway.

However, some drivers ignored signage stating the single lane road was now for buses only and started driving in from both ends shortly after it opened.

Police were forced to attend within hours because of the dangers and the road had to be closed again later that night.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Councillor Kevin Lang raised the alarm after witnessing two near head-on crashes

Now, the council has had to close the road while it makes the signage more visible.

Almond Liberal Democrat councillor Kevin Lang witnessed two close calls.

He said: “I have never seen anything like it.

“The new arrangement and lack of signage created a terrifying death trap. I honestly feared I would witness a fatal crash.

Danger spot at Silverknowes Road North

“This road should never have been opened without proper and highly visible signage in place.

“It should have been made obvious this one lane was for buses only. Instead, we had cars racing towards each other at speed.

“I want to credit council officials who acted quickly when I raised concerns and closed the road off entirely.

“If that had not happened, I worry we would have had a loss of life. It is now clear this whole scheme needs to be completely rethought.”

Transport convener, councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “Over the weekend we introduced changes to the Spaces for People scheme on Silverknowes Road North to introduce a bus lane and bi-directional cycleway.

“Unfortunately, a number of drivers chose to ignore restrictions in place and entered the bus lane, so we took the decision to close the road for safety reasons.

“We are working to install further signage and tweak the layout slightly to further highlight the changes in place to discourage people from driving in the bus lane.

“Driving a car where it is not allowed represents a considerable risk to other road users.

“We hope to reopen the road to buses and cyclists as soon as possible and to see no further incidents of this kind.

“We will be assisted in this by increased Police Scotland enforcement.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.