Police forced to shut Edinburgh bridge after cars seen ignoring one-way system due to roadworks

Mackenzie Bridge was shut last week due to the number of cars driving illegally

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 3:59 pm

Illegal driving forced the closure of one of Edinburgh's most picturesque bridges after police witnessed several cars ignoring a one-way system.

Officers witnessed drivers ignoring a one-way system on Mackenzie Bridge in Stockbridge, which connects Dean Terrace and India Place, to skip the diversion in place due to roadworks on Deanhaugh Street.

Drivers were using the bridge as a short-cut due to roadworks closing the main bridge across the Water of Leith in the area.

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Mackenzie Bridge in Stockbridge, which has been shut by police

SGN are carrying out major gas works that are likely to last until July in the area, but reopened part of Deanhaugh Street on Monday after work progressed more quickly than expected.

Work is now ongoing between Dean Street and Leslie Place, with one side of Deanhaugh Street reopened but no through-route between it and Raeburn Place.

Three drivers ignoring one-way system in half an hour

After being alerted to the problem by concerned residents, the police visited the area every day, witnessing as many as three cars in half an hour ignoring the one-way system in place.

Mackenzie Bridge in Stockbridge, which has been shut by police

The problem was so severe, officers requested the road be shut by the council on Monday 13 January.

The road remains shut but the situation will be revisited this week.

Conservative councillor Max Mitchell, who passed on several resident complaints to the police, said the situation was "deeply troubling".

The Inverleith ward representative added he was "gobsmacked" at the number of cars ignoring the restrictions.

Mackenzie Bridge in Stockbridge, which has been shut by police

'Gobsmacked'

Cllr Mitchell said: "It’s great news that SGN’s works are progressing so well but the situation on Mackenzie Bridge is deeply troubling.

"I am gobsmacked at the number of vehicles crossing the bridge illegally through the one-way system. It’s forced the police to close the bridge due to concern for public safety.

"It will reopen once it is deemed safe. There’s already been an enormous amount of traffic displacement and this hasn’t helped.

"The inconvenience is far from ideal but people’s safety is paramount."

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: "Due to ongoing roadworks in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh, Mackenzie Bridge (between Dean Terrace and Mackenzie Place/India Place) has been fully closed to traffic."

Katie Lobban, a spokesman for the gas network company SGN, said: "Work to upgrade our gas network in the Raeburn Place area of Stockbridge is progressing well and we’ve now finished work in the bridge in Deanhaugh Street.

"We’re still in phase one of our work as planned, just working slightly further along the road now.

"We’re still on schedule to begin phase two of our work in Raeburn Place in mid-February. Regular updates will continue to be posted on our dedicated project page for Stockbridge."

You can visit SGN's dedicated Raeburn Place works website here.