Call to let spy cameras help Kirkliston residents avoid ‘rat run’

The bridge has been closed for months - leading to congestion. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
The bridge has been closed for months - leading to congestion. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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Spy cameras could be used to allow local residents to beat a controversial bus gate under plans being put before the council.

A Conservative councillor has called for Edinburgh council to reconsider the “bus gate” camera at Kirklands Gate Park which was installed to prevent the route becoming a “rat run” for motorists.

The bridge has been closed for months. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The bridge has been closed for months. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The camera currently allows buses through using special number plate recognition technology.

But in a letter to the Evening News, Cllr Graham Hutchison said traffic misery was slowly strangling the community and a lack of foresight had changed Kirkliston village beyond recognition.

The camera, in operation 24 hours a day, runs approximately 100m through a residential development and motorists run the risk of incurring a fine of up to £60 if they pass it and face a 1.3 mile detour to avoid it.

Cllr Hutchison said a solution to some of the village’s congestion problems would be to allow residents access through the bus gate using the number plate recognition camera that is already in place, a system he said would cost “a fraction” to implement.

“The biggest issue facing the village at present is congestion,” explained Cllr Hutchison.

“With each new estate being accessed from the existing north/south and east/west axis through the crossroads in the centre of Kirkliston, residents throughout the village have only one route available for access and egress to and from their properties.

“An already commissioned traffic study may lead to a much needed re-configuration of the traffic light sequencing but more immediate and drastic action is required on the part of the council.

“Opening the bus gate to local residents using the existing Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to manage this and prevent rat-running would provide immediate relief to the central crossroads.

“The implementation of such a scheme would allow residents to exit their streets in their direction of travel, eliminating several hundred car journeys through the crossroads each day.

“Congestion has been compounded over restrictive operation of the Kirklands Park Street bus gate which forces residents into a detour of up to 1.3 miles, while netting over £300,000 in fines for the council in under four years,” he added.

Long-term resident Pam Hull said Kirkliston hadn’t benefitted from “one bit of new infrastructure” since almost doubling in size, resulting in a saturation of the roads.

Cllr Lesley Macinnes, transport convener, said: “Congestion is frustrating for residents.

“Our officers would be very happy to meet local residents to discuss their concerns about the situation in Kirkliston in more detail and to explore possible ways of alleviating congestion there.”