Disappointment at Sheriffhall delays

Colin Beattie at the roundabout
Colin Beattie at the roundabout

Midlothian North’s MSP is keeping up the pressure on the Scottish Government for improvements to take place at Sheriffhall roundabout.

Colin Beattie (SNP) has expressed his frustration at the news that the proposal for potential grade separation for the Sheriffhall roundabout will be delayed until next year at the earliest.

The news came in response to a question Mr Beattie sent to the Scottish Government asking for an update on the roundabout.

Derek Mackay, the minister for transport and the islands, responded by saying that the preferred option for the junction improvement will not be available for public comment until summer 2016.

Mr Beattie had previously written to the Scottish Government last December, with the response saying that the preferred option for junction improvement was to be announced in autumn 2015.

Mr Beattie said: “I am extremely disappointed with this news. I had hoped we would be further along with this process by now, but clearly that’s not the case.

“I’m sure Midlothian drivers must be sick of listening out for traffic reports only to hear that, yet again, there are major delays at the Sheriffhall roundabout.

“Sheriffhall was supposedly designed to ease congestion on our roads but, if anything, it’s made matters worse.

“I will continue to press on this issue until we finally get a solution that will improve the situation.”

Gordon Henderson from the Federation of Small Businesses Scotland, said it was “essential” that the improvement works there are done properly and that there were no more temporary fixes.

“It is disappointing that there is such a delay in progress but hopefully that is down to a permanent solution suitable for the next 50 years rather than five years being planned,” he added.

Midlothian councillor Ian Baxter (Green) said: “We need to resolve the issue of congestion and improvements to Sheriffhall must be part of that. As part of speeding up the traffic flow in the area we need to prioritise public transport and ensure safe routes for cyclists.

“I am concerned about congestion but it isn’t just about private motorists. There are two buses which pass through Sheriffhall.

“It is slowing everybody and we need to resolve that as soon as possible.”