Ratho residents say near misses with boy, 5, and teenage girl are down to surge in traffic from road closure

RESIDENTS in Ratho say a road closure nearby has caused a massive increase in cars through the village and reinforced calls for traffic-calming measures.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 6:00 am

Mother-of-three Elaine Gunn said there had been at least three incidents in recent weeks, including one when a five-year-old boy was nearly knocked over on a pedestrian crossing and another when a teenage girl was clipped by a car’s wing mirror.

The village has long been used as a rat run by motorists coming off the A8 and heading for the A71 or just trying to dodge traffic jams on the A8 and locals have asked repeatedly for traffic calming measures to slow cars down.

But the situation is worse now because Cliftonhall Road is closed for work on a rail bridge and even more cars are coming through.

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This picture is of Ratho on a 'good day' as the closure of Cliffton Road exacerbates the traffic problem.

Calls for traffic calming measures

The residents are frustrated because they say Cliftonhall Road has been closed before and the same problems were experienced then. They say they asked for measures to be taken, but nothing was done.

They want traffic calming for the future, but their immediate demand is for safe places for children to cross the road.

Ms Gunn, who stood for the Greens in the general election, said: “The residents of Ratho have been asking for appropriate traffic calming measures to be put in place for years, but these have been consistently declined.

“On a normal day, our village is used as a rat run by drivers hurrying to avoid heavy traffic on the A8, which is dangerous in itself, but when nearby road closures send even more traffic our way the problem gets exponentially worse.

“We know of several incidents involving children since the latest closure of Cliftonhall Road. One teen was hit by a vehicle’s wing mirror, and a five-year-old was nearly run down when drivers moved onto the pedestrian crossing while the green man was showing.

“We urgently need to take short-term action to protect pedestrians from the immediate dangers of the heavy traffic while Cliftonhall Road remains closed, coupled with longer term traffic-calming measures to make sure the village can cope with this sort of situation in the future.

“My three children walk or cycle this route to school every day; I don’t think we should have to wait for a tragedy to occur before the council decide to take meaningful action.”

Transport convener Lesley Macinnes said the council had worked with Network Rail to implement diversion routes which limited heavy traffic through Ratho as much as possible.

“We appreciate people’s concerns around road safety, which is extremely important to the council, and our officers have previously met the local community to discuss the matter.

"It is essential that we prioritise costly and resource-intensive projects to install calming measures to the areas most in need and, while our own investigations have not identified this street as a priority for such interventions, we welcome any feedback from the public and will continue to monitor the situation."