Meeting to discuss killer road proposals

The A68 Focus Group, from left to right Councillor Peter Smail, Jennifer Grahame Secretary of Tynewater Community Council, Gordon Brown Tynewater Community Councillor, Councillor Kenneth Baird.  The Photograph was taken outside The Stair Arms Hotel with a view of the Lothian Bridge in the background.
The A68 Focus Group, from left to right Councillor Peter Smail, Jennifer Grahame Secretary of Tynewater Community Council, Gordon Brown Tynewater Community Councillor, Councillor Kenneth Baird. The Photograph was taken outside The Stair Arms Hotel with a view of the Lothian Bridge in the background.

The A68 Focus Group is to hold a public meeting this month to discuss the latest proposals from Transport Scotland to improve the killer road.

The meeting will take place at Pathhead Community Hall on August 20 at 7pm. This follows two years of the local group working with the government agency on the best ways to improve the A68, which has seen seven deaths in the past four years on the Midlothian stretch from Soutra to the city bypass.

Transport Scotland proposes to install two unmanned crossings and make improvements to the bridge at the bottom of Pathhead.

Jennifer Grahame from the A68 Focus Group, said: “We are having this meeting to ask local people if they agree with the recommendations.

“We hope to see as many local people at the meeting as possible to give their views.”

Despite these proposals Jennifer admitted the A68 Focus Group had hoped for more. She said:“People are dying and Transport Scotland are not addressing that. We feel they could do more.

“It’s got to the stage where locals are avoiding the A68 and using the back roads, which are not really designed for large amounts of traffic.”

Jennifer added that the group was focusing on four main areas of concern along the notorious road – heading south into Cousland, Monument Junction at Haddington Road, the junction at Oxenfoord Castle, and the stretch of road coming out of Pathhead known locally as ‘the tunnel’.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “We have met with the A68 Focus Group on several occasions this year and have undertaken a number of pieces of work on the A68 in Midlothian in response to community concerns.

“We have presented the findings to the members of the A68 Focus group and look forward to the community’s feedback on our draft proposals.”