RESIDENTS in Kirkliston are at risk of being cut adrift from the Capital unless funding to replace a vital road link is allocated in the upcoming council budget, political figures have warned.
In a joint letter delivered to local authority planning chiefs, Christine Jardine MP, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP and councillors Kevin Lang and Louise Young raised “significant concerns” over a lack of progress on a replacement for the Burnshot Bridge.
The structure was demolished in November, almost 12 months after being closed to traffic due to safety fears.
Deterioration of joints on the bridge meant it was no longer fit for purpose and had to be torn down.
However, despite initial designs for a replacement being drawn up, council chiefs have failed to allocate any capital funding for the project, leaving local residents uncertain over its future.
In the letter, the Liberal-Democrat group say they “acknowledge” the efforts made by the authority “to install appropriate signage and create an improved path for pedestrians and cyclists to travel between the bridge and the A90 underpass.”
But it continues: “There is some considerable frustration amongst residents of the more rural parts of west Edinburgh, who often feel their unique problems and issues can be overlooked by the city centre based Council.
“Burnshot Road and the bridge have provided a vital connection between the village and Edinburgh City Centre. The bridge closure created major disruption to those who need to get to Edinburgh, particularly given the extremely limited and very expensive public transport options which are available.”
It added: “The change to the flow of traffic has also exacerbated the other problems which have emerged following the opening of the Queensferry Crossing and which are now seriously impacting on the eastern side of Queensferry and Dalmeny.”
Among the other concerns raised in the letter was the negative business impact on nearby Craigie’s Farm, which could suffer heavily from a lack of access.
Current estimates put the cost of a replacement structure at around £4 million, though a feasibility study is yet to be undertaken.
The letter also states: “By committing to the building of the new Burnshot Bridge this year, we believe the Council would go a long way in showing it does listen to and care about the residents of smaller villages such as Kirkliston.”
A council spokeswoman said: “We are currently undertaking relevant site investigations and finalising designs for a replacement bridge to ascertain costs, as well as establishing a delivery timescale.”