Residents of picturesque Edinburgh lane complain speeding drivers destroying it by using it as short cut

Calls for bollards to close road at one end

Friday, 10th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 7:19 am

RESIDENTS in one of Edinburgh’s most celebrated streets want it blocked off at one end to stop speeding drivers using it as a short cut.

They say narrow Circus Lane - whose picturesque mews homes and floral displays are a big draw for tourists and photographers - is regularly treated as a rat run, putting pedestrian safety at risk and damaging properties.

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David Greer says the safety of residents and visitors is at risk

But they say they have come up with a simple and low-cost solution which would improve safety for residents and pedestrians and preserve the street’s historic setting.

David Greer, of the Circus Lane Residents’ Association, said: “Despite being a very narrow road with a very small path on the north side only, the lane is increasingly being used as a speedy bypass by all sorts of vehicles, including taxis, large delivery vehicles and private vehicles all racing down the lane at speeds well in excess of the speed limit with no apparent regard for residents’ property or residents’ and visitors’ safety. In recent years there have been many near misses, some involving children.”

He said drivers also regularly drove at speed the wrong way along the one-way street.

And he continued: “People living in Circus Lane have invested a lot of time, money and effort into enhancing the environment and making the most of a very attractive historical setting. As a result it has acquired something of a global cult landmark status and we now have hundreds of tourists visiting the lane from around the world every day of the week.

“The lane is also used regularly for photo shoots by newly-weds, advertising companies and other photographic agencies.”

The residents are proposing bollards are installed at the east end of the lane, where it joins St Vincent Street, to close it to vehicles, and a turning area created there. They say similar measures have been used successfully in other nearby streets.

“We’re delighted that people come down here and admire our work and it’s an attraction for the city. But the lane is being destroyed by traffic hurtling down at horrific speeds.

“There are a lot of elderly folk who are almost being run over a delivery van or a taxi.

“And many of the trucks mount the pavements and destroy the kerbs and flowerpots.

“We are trying to put forward a constructive proposal, but despite writing to various people at the council, we’ve had no response.”

He said all the residents had been consulted and there was strong support for the proposal.

Transport and environment vice-convener Karen Doran said: “We appreciate residents’ concerns - road safety is extremely important to the council. It is essential that we prioritise costly and resource-intensive projects to install calming measures to the areas most in need.

“This street has not been identified as a priority for such interventions, but the council certainly welcome any feedback from residents, and will continue to monitor the situation.”