Edinburgh's transport convener considers new safety measures after sat-nav error directs traffic down steps

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Three vehicles have attempted to drive down the steps in the last month

“Additional safety measures” are being explored for a set of Edinburgh city centre steps in a bid to stop motorists driving down them and getting stuck.

It comes after three such incidents over recent weeks due to drivers following sat-navs and maps apparently not updated since traffic was blocked from entering Greenside Lane from Leith Street last year when the steps were installed.

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The most recent blunder came on Thursday when a lorry attempted to turn in the narrow lane after mounting the pavement and cycle lane – but quickly became trapped.

A lorry got stuck on the steps at the top of Greenside Lane on Thursday, 18 January. Photo by Dean LoughtonA lorry got stuck on the steps at the top of Greenside Lane on Thursday, 18 January. Photo by Dean Loughton
A lorry got stuck on the steps at the top of Greenside Lane on Thursday, 18 January. Photo by Dean Loughton

The council’s transport convener Scott Arthur said he was now exploring “additional safety measures” for the spot to avoid it happening again.

“Sat Nav is an incredibly useful tool, but it’s no substitute for common sense,” he said. “Cars and trucks don’t go down steps.”

Responding to the previous incidents in December, Google said an issue with its maps which led drivers down the lane had been fixed.

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The council has now also requested Apple Maps to make the same correction.

Cllr Arthur said: “As part of Trams to Newhaven, Greenside Lane was blocked off to traffic some time ago and steps installed. This is in compliance with the Edinburgh Street Design Guidance and similar to other set-ups across the city, such as on the Lawnmarket.”

He added: “No issues were raised as part of the Road Safety Audit for the project and Google Maps was recently updated to reflect the new layout and a request for a correction has been sent to Apple Maps.

“In the interim we’re exploring additional safety measures. Sat Nav is an incredibly useful tool, but it’s no substitute for common sense. Cars and trucks don’t go down steps.”

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