On the verge of a serious accident on Midlothian roads

Concerns have been raised about overgrown verges on Midlothian roads being “an accident waiting to happen”, with locals taking on the dangerous task of cutting them themselves.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 6:00 am
The road from Penicuik meeting the Howgate to Auchendinny road B7026 meets Harpers Brae at a t-junction coming out of Penicuik between Pomathorn Road and the barracks road.

Photographer Jon Steele (49) from Gladhouse, raised concerns about overgrown verges on some of the county’s most notorious roads, including the crossroads at Gourlaw, the B7026 meeting Hargers Brae, the top of Roslin Glen onto the A6094, and the junction of the A6094 and the B6372.

He said: “No verges have been cut this year.

"I think we all recognise the council have had issues with resources prior to Covid and I’m sure they have even more problems with finances.

The Gourlaw junction where the road from Roslin Glen meets the A6094.

"So I’m guessing the issue with the overgrown verges is due to cutbacks.

"There are ways round that. There is a lot of verges that are cut with a tractor where it probably doesn’t massively improve road safety. But they could send someone out with a strimmer instead.

"If they haven’t got the money they need to then look at prioritising problem areas. Highlight hot spots.

"There have been numerous serious accident on these roads, mostly causing just car damage thankfully. But these verges add to that, it’s an accident waiting to happen.

The B3672 crossing the A 6094 to Penicuik and heading down pomathorn road.

Jon hopes action is taken: "I phoned the council about the verges and they said they would pass it on,” he added.

"But if they don’t do anything I will go and trim one of the verges. It will take me five minutes with a strimmer.

"I would rather just do it so the road is safer for me and everyone else.

"I know locals are cutting verges in certain areas, but I would much rather the council do it.

"As that’s why we pay council tax. And it’s not ideal for locals to strim next to a road.

"I think the issue has got worse over they last five or six years. Which may well be a ramification of council cuts.

A Midlothian Council spokesman said: “We’d like to thank the resident for bringing these areas to our attention. Our Land & Countryside teams have been carrying out planned maintenance work at verges and other locations to make sure people can drive safely. We’ll be making sure the areas mentioned are checked and, if any work is needed on the verges, we will aim to have this done within the next 10 days.”