Road safety boost as new crossings get green light

The council is planning to increase and upgrade road crossings
The council is planning to increase and upgrade road crossings
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The go-ahead has been given to 16 new or upgraded pedestrian crossings across the Capital as part of efforts to improve safety.

Edinburgh City Council has earmarked £210,000 to be spent on sites identified as a high priority, with the improvements to be rolled out over three years. The plans include new green-man ­crossings at Lindsay Road in Leith and Murrayburn Road, Wester Hailes.

Other crossings will be upgraded with new drop kerbs and refuge islands.

The sites were chosen ­following a consultation with residents, neighbourhood partnerships, community councils, businesses, bus operators and the police.

But a proposed staggered crossing at Hillhouse Road in Blackhall, between Columba Road and Gardiner Road, has been scrapped following ­opposition – despite having been supported by the police.

One resident feared the noise from the bleeper would hit the sale of their house in future while another said it would lead to tailbacks.

Blackhall and Craigleith Community Council also ­outlined fears that the removal of parking directly outside Blackhall St Columba’s Church would have a negative impact on ceremonies, leaving wedding cars and hearses ­unable to park.

The group, who supported the crossing in principle, suggested another site 100 metres north, which is to be investigated by the council.

Greens’ Councillor Nigel Bagshaw said: “I would welcome any improvement that helps people walk around more safely in the town, especially for the very old or the very young.

“It’s certainly something we have tried to encourage and campaign on in Edinburgh.

“There are still problems with safe routes to school and there is a lot of provision by schools to make things safer for children.

“But it’s quite difficult for people to get to find a safe route if they are coming from further away.

“The more pedestrian 
crossing are around the safer people will be.”

Speaking of the crossing at Blackhall, he said: “It is a shame that crossing has gone because that road is a particularly difficult one to cross.

“Speeding is a particular problem in Blackhall.”

Last year, the number of people killed on roads in the Lothians rose from 12 to 19.

Figures from Lothian and Borders Police revealed that one child was killed on the roads in the Lothians during the last year, while 35 people were seriously injured and 256 suffered minor injuries.

Improvements will be made to crossings at Newcraighall at the Fort roundabout and Petsmart, Newcraighall Road near Cleikimfield and Niddrie Mains Road at the medical centre.

Portobello Councillor Maureen Child said: “Improvements to these three crossings were instigated by people who got in touch with me.

“Certainly, the crossing at the health centre is very much needed.

“Sometimes you take your life in your hands when you cross Niddrie Mains Road.”