West Edinburgh residents voice concern over impact of rising traffic levels as large-scale developments take shape

Residents have raised concerns about the impact of rising traffic levels in the west of Edinburgh as large-scale developments take shape in the coming years.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 4:55 am

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Major plans have been announced for the Gyle, Edinburgh Park and the GardenDistrict with projections suggesting the area’s population is set to rise by around 40,000.

Many residents fear growth on that scale will lead to significant problems with a huge increase in the volume of traffic on the road network.

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First visualisation of the proposed new 'urban quarter' t the Gyle shopping centre

News of the latest plans – for a £500m revamp of the Gyle shopping centre, including a new high street and 1,000 new homes – prompted social media comments welcoming the proposals but highlighting long-standing concerns about the ability of the road infrastructure in the area to cope with a relentless rise in traffic.

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Edinburgh’s Gyle shopping centre set to transform into ‘£500 million urban quart...

Edinburgh Western Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Traffic and pollution have been problems in west Edinburgh for decades, but frustratingly the only attention the council leadership have paid in trying to address it was for the one bit which already has low traffic, in East Craigs and Craigmount. Their ‘we know best’ attitude to that issues has quite possibly set the whole agenda back and will certainly put people off future active travel proposals.

"We need to dramatically reduce car use in the west of the city, particularly on Queensferry Road and St John’s Road, two of the most polluted streets in Scotland, and that problem is made worse by the proliferation of new housing without viable public transport links and active travel networks.

"We also, as a matter of urgency, need to adopt a low emission zone for the whole city, particularly in Corstorphine.”

He said the tram route did not go anywhere near large parts of west Edinburgh.

And he said he had long argued the houses which were being built in the expansion of west Edinburgh were not the kind of houses the city needed.

"The city is blindly looking at numbers, but what we need are more affordable houses, mid-market rent and social housing; what are being built are £500,000 homes, which don’t answer Edinburgh’s housing crisis. I would much rather see those homes built as flats on brownfield sites around Granton and the waterfront, but developers are more interested in where they can make the most money.”

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