Residents frustrated at delay in first year review of Edinburgh's Queensferry Crossing

Community council wants changes to surrounding road system

Monday, 27th January 2020, 6:00 am
The Queensferry Crossing opened to traffic in August 2017 and got motorway status in February 2018

RESIDENTS close to the Queensferry Crossing are frustrated that more than two years after the new bridge opened the one-year review of its operation has still not been completed.

They say changes to the road layout around the bridge has resulted in more traffic going through South Queensferry - but any action to tackle the problem is being held up, waiting for the review of the bridge’s first 12 months.

Keith Giblett, chair of Queensferry and District Community Council, said: “We met Transport Scotland back in November 2018 and we were promised we would be consulted when this review was held. We’re frustrated they haven’t had the decency to contact us or taken any of our ideas or thoughts on board.

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“They’re a very difficult organisation to engage with. I don’t think they have much respect for the community’s issues.”

He said Transport Scotland’s closing of the slip roads through the Echline roundabout had increased the volume of traffic using local roads.

“It’s 13 or 14 months since we met them and we’re still no further forward.”

The Queensferry Crossing opened to traffic in August 2017, but the first year of operation is being counted from when it officially became a motorway on February 1, 2018.

Edinburgh Western Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said the one-year review was due in February last year.

“This delay is just not good enough and will be deeply concerning to communities who have raised concerns about traffic flow around South Queensferry since its opening in 2017.

“Local residents are frustrated by the impact of the bridge on their daily lives and have been asking for small alterations, including re-opening of the southbound A90 slip from the old Echline roundabout at South Scotstoun, which would take a lot of pressure off Dalmeny village at peak times.

“Every time I ask about residents’ concerns about traffic flow, they continue to refer me to the non-existent, and now hopelessly delayed, one year review.”

Almond Lib Dem councillor Kevin Lang said people were fed up with “dither and delay” from Transport Scotland.

He said: “The new crossing and roads layout completely changed traffic flow around Queensferry. It’s why residents called for some small changes, which would help address some of the congestion bottlenecks.

“Yet here we are, almost 900 days on from the opening we still don’t even have a report, let alone a commitment of action.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said it had already taken some steps to address concerns, including altering the sequence of traffic signals on Queensferry junction to help traffic flow and installing “keep clear” boxes on the roundabout.

But he said the A90 slip road from the Echline roundabout was part of the dedicated public transport corridor.

He said: “We appreciate there may be some frustration while the year one report is under preparation. Given the scale and significance of the project there is a need to collect primary data to ensure the robustness of the evaluation. Also, to engage with a wide range of stakeholders to support the evaluation, both of which can take some time to complete.

“Throughout the entire lifetime of this project we have endeavoured to engage with local communities, listen to their views or concerns and respond as best we can. We will continue to do this through the Forth Bridges Forum and via our operating company.”