Midlothian police to be told to deal with Bonnyrigg speeding

Resident Fiona Gilbert  next to a busy road in Bonnyrigg
Resident Fiona Gilbert next to a busy road in Bonnyrigg

Police in Midlothian will be told they need to deal with motorists who speed through a town after the council refused to introduce traffic calming measures.

More than 112 people signed a petition put before Midlothian Council’s petitions committee in December calling for more action to be taken to clamp down on traffic problems in Bonnyrigg.

Fiona Gilbert, who raised the petition, told the committee that people living in the old part of the town, which she said now had more than 17,500 residents, wanted to see better signage for its current 30mph speed limit, weight restrictions on HGVs and, if possible, a reduction in the speed limit to 20mph.

Despite the plea, the local authority insisted there were no reasons to reduce the speed limit or introduce traffic calming measures, and claimed that when they had reduced speed limits to 20mph in neighbouring Lasswade it had only seen speed reduce on its roads by 1mph, while accidents had, in fact, increased.

And despite agreeing during that meeting to withdraw plans to put double yellow lines on a blind corner after residents warned it would cause more risk, not less, they have now said that is the only action they are going to take.

In a report to the council’s Police and Fire and Rescue Board on Monday, officers said: “The council has no plans to introduce either a reduced speed limit or traffic calming.

“In this instance, the vehicle speeds which are a cause for concern for local residents should be enforced by the police.”

And they added: “The council do propose to introduce double yellow lines north of the junction with the Golf Course road as it is considered this measure would assist vehicles exiting from the road. It would also be seen by oncoming vehicles, thereby reducing the risk of a road crash.”

During December’s meeting, petitioners were told the double yellow lines plan would be withdrawn after they warned it would increase the speed people took the corner on rather than decreasing it.

Mrs Gilbert had told the petitions committee that reducing traffic speed and other measures might cost money but would also save lives.

She said: “The residents who live there can all tell the council that some motorists drive through this area at speeds of up to 60mph.”

And speaking after the meeting when it was agreed to forward the petition to Monday’s board meeting for consideration, she added: “Residents are tired of being palmed off, we must find a solution.”