PLANS to create two large 24-hour car parks near Edinburgh Airport would transform two rural villages into “rat runs”, concerned residents have warned.
The parking lots would hold up to 600 vehicles at Ratho Station and in Newbridge prompting fears the increased traffic would lead to gridlock.
An estimated 700 extra car journeys would pass through Ratho Station and Newbridge every day if approved, transport reports suggest.
A minibus shuttle service frequently running between the car parks and Edinburgh Airport would also heap pressure on the roads.
Residents claim the area is already blighted by traffic congestion while parts of Newbridge have already been designated 20mph zones.
Mike Harle, who lives in Newbridge but represents the Ratho & District Community Council, claimed the blueprints were unwelcome and would only exacerbate the town’s traffic problems.
“It will impact the area, obviously, with traffic coming off the roundabout and the A8 into Ratho Station,” said Mr Harle.
“There is a problem in the Newbridge area.
“It’s a rat run, and it has been for quite some time. So is Ratho Station. It can be quite dangerous.
“The Newbridge Roundabout is approaching full loading at times, and that will get worse with the impact of the new road network from the [ongoing construction of the] second Forth Bridge.
“At peak periods, Newbridge can lock up because people use it to bypass the roundabout. I don’t see what can be done about it, because we’re looking at a new housing development in Newbridge of 400 more houses.
“It’s bumper to bumper along Old Liston Road and Cliftonhall Road. Between 5pm and 6pm, it’s pretty solid.”
Mr Harle added that the main access to the larger of the two car parks on Queen Anne Drive would take traffic past a junction next to a playground and leading to a primary school.
The car parks have been proposed on the site of the former Remploy factory and in a mothballed park-and-ride facility.
The larger of the two would hold 400 vehicles and is being put forward by car park operator Flying Scot Parking, which already runs a 2000- bay car park opposite Edinburgh Airport and another low cost facility on Queen Anne Drive.
The smaller car park would be leased by cash and carry store Batley’s, which has also rented out part of its own car park on Newbridge Road in the past.
Councillor Alastair Shields, who represents the Almond ward, said: “It may be that the road layout needs to be redesigned as a result of extra traffic generated if these plans go ahead.
“Residents should be fully consulted about these proposals. I can understand why they might have concerns.”
Flying Scot declined to comment when contacted by the Evening News.