Plans to scale back on promised safety measures at Edinburgh accident blackspot postponed for talks with community
Council plans to scale back on promised safety measures at a dangerous junction have been postponed after residents said a reduced scheme would be a waste of money.
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Transport convener Lesley Macinnes said it was clear there was a “disconnect” between community concerns and what the council was proposing for the accident blackspot on the A71 at Dalmahoy Road.
The city’s transport and environment committee accepted her suggestion the matter should be continued until its September meeting so discussions could take place with locals.
The junction, which also includes the entrance to the Dalmahoy hotel and golf course, has seen numerous accidents and near misses over the years, with poor sight lines a key factor.A scheme to realign the road and install traffic lights was approved by the committee in 2017 and was about to be carried out when the pandemic struck, but now the council says costs have risen and is proposing to leave the junction as it is, lower the speed limit and put in a pedestrian crossing.
Judy Wightman, chair of Ratho and district community council, told the committee the reduced scheme would not improve the overall safety of the junction. She said accidents had seen people hit while waiting at bus stops as well as the demolition of bus shelters, give-way signs and lampposts.
She said members of the community wanted the promised traffic lights at the junction. "Many believe that, just to save money, we will have to have a fatality before a signalised junction will be considered.”
Resident Ben Bright said there had been a fatality in the past, a young child hit by a car some years ago had been in a wheelchair ever since and a woman was hit crossing the road two years ago.
“This intersection is very dangerous and anyone who has been through it knows that. Many try to avoid it.
“We do understand the money problem, but the residents all feel the same: to go ahead with these proposals will not solve the problem; to do what is proposed in this report is a waste of money; it will make Dalmahoy look like a joke.”
The council report recommending the reduced scheme said the cost of the promised measures was now £962,000, compared with the approved funding of £455,000.
And it said interim measures of a 40mph speed limit had cut injury accidents from seven in March 2015-February 2018 to four in March 2018-December 2020.
Cllr Macinnes said putting the matter off until September could be “time well spent”. She said: “I think it merits further discussion with the community, I think we need to take on board some of the comments made by the deputations and try and find a way to relieve the tension between community concerns and expectations and our ability to deliver.”
She said she and the vice-convener would go on a site visit with officers and members of the community to look at the issues and try to find a solution with "greater acceptability" to the community.