Call for end to Hillend junction issue

Councillor Pauline Winchester and Conservatives Lothian List MSP Miles Briggs at the Hillend junction.
Councillor Pauline Winchester and Conservatives Lothian List MSP Miles Briggs at the Hillend junction.

Two prominent local Conservative politicians will meet the transport secretary next month to discuss the notorious Hillend junction.

Conservative councillor Pauline Winchester and Lothian List MSP Miles Briggs are concerned that more new local homes could mean more chance of a serious accident at the three-way junction.

Councillor Pauline Winchester and Conservatives Lothian List MSP Miles Briggs at the Hillend junction.

Councillor Pauline Winchester and Conservatives Lothian List MSP Miles Briggs at the Hillend junction.

Transport Scotland has told the Advertiser that it had commissioned a road safety study to explore if improvements could be made or not.

Councillor Winchester said: “At the moment it is a dangerous three-way junction for everyone using it, and needs to be changed as soon as possible. I personally avoid it when going into Edinburgh.

“We are meeting with the SNP transport spokesperson, Mr Michael Matheson, in November to ask for improvements to it.

“With the increased housing in Midlothian the junction is getting busier and busier and in the rush hour there is quite a queue using it. It needs improving as soon as possible and hopefully the Scottish Government will make this a priority case.

“We think it’s best to tackle this now before we get a serious accident. It’s quite a sharp bend. While we were there for the photo we saw a bike trying to get across, while the big lorries were hammering down. It’s just awful.”

Cllr Winchester is hopeful of receiving Holyrood support for improvements to the junction.

She said: “We need this main corridor road for Midlothian to be as safe as possible. I certainly hope that the Scottish Government will back a change to that junction. To make it safer. It’s something that needs to be done.

“Midlothian Council just doesn’t have the money for any changes, so hopefully the government backs us. It has to be a priority.

“I don’t know what the solution is up there. They would need a roads planner to come in and have a look at it. There is the old garage site down the road, so maybe that space could be used.”

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “Road safety is of paramount importance to the Scottish Government and we have invested over £25.7 million in the A702 since 2007 to improve safety and efficiency.

“Transport Scotland, as part of a proactive approach, has commissioned their operating company, Amey, to undertake a road safety study at this location.

“They are reviewing the junction once more to explore if any further improvements can be made.”