TRANSPORT chiefs have announced a £1.2 million safety overhaul of an East Lothian accident blackspot.
The project aims to improve traffic flow and reduce hazards at the A1/A720 Junction at Old Craighall Roundabout after 40 crashes resulted in casualties in just five years.
Work will start overnight from Monday, February 11 and is expected to take 14 weeks, with campaigners calling for minimal disruption to commuters.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “Our road operating company Amey will be putting signals on the roundabout and widening a number of slip roads and part of the carriageway. This will contribute to improved road safety as priority at the roundabout will be clearer and traffic will be better able to negotiate key parts of the junction.”
Mr Matheson added: “While there may be some disruption, this will result in a safer and more efficient Old Craighall Roundabout, with reduced hazards and better traffic flows for those travelling on the route.”
The roundabout, which sees an estimated 45,000 vehicles every day, will be closed from Millerhill Junction, from 9pm to 6am each night during the work.
A signed diversion route will be in place while the main A1 carriageway will remain open throughout the works.
During the night closures, traffic travelling eastbound on the A720 will be diverted to exit at Millerhill Junction and will join the A68.
At the A68 Dalkeith/Whitecraig Junction, traffic will join the northbound A6094 and at the next junction will follow signage to join the A1.
Drivers heading westbound on the A1 will follow the same diversion route in the opposite direction. Traffic travelling on the A1 towards the A720 will exit at the Wallyford Junction and follow the same diversion route.
The Old Craighall Roundabout will be open as normal during the daytime – but a 40mph speed restriction will be in place.
Bus passengers have been assured services will be unaffected for the duration of the works.
The service station and Travelodge at Old Craighall will be open throughout. Lorry drivers on their way to the nearby BP service station will be diverted through Old Craighall.
Labour East Lothian MSP Iain Gray said: “Many of my constituents suffer from the congestion at this roundabout every day, so the promise of improvements is welcome, if long overdue.
“I very much hope that the works are managed to minimise disruption. Now we need to see progress on the Sheriffhall upgrade, just up the bypass and an even bigger nightmare of east Lothian commuters.”