Road fears lead to improvement calls

Penicuik Community Councillor Mose Hutcheson  at the dangerous Hillend three way junction.
Penicuik Community Councillor Mose Hutcheson at the dangerous Hillend three way junction.

Calls have been made to improve the safety of road junctions on the A702 on the route south out of Edinburgh through Midlothian.

The three way junction at Hillend has attracted the most concern for people living near this vital transport route.

Penicuik Community Council vice chairman Mose Hutchison believes that it’s “an accident waiting to happen”.

He said: “The junction at Hillend is a real problem. At one of the openings the pavement sticks out. It’s an absolute nightmare to get out.

“If you were to take the middle road, you have to go to the right side of the road and there is pavement there. I’m surprised they don’t paint it white because it drops right out into the middle of the road.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen. I don’t know how nobody has been killed there before.

“What happens in the mornings is one for one, rather than sitting there all day. One lets in, one lets out.”

Mr Hutchison is concerned about another A702 junction.

He said: “I think it’s worse further up the road at the junction with Mauricewood Road. It’s easy enough to get out if you are turning left but at the moment turning right is an absolute nightmare.

“You can be sitting almost in the middle of the road to get out to turn right because you can’t see back down the road. There is also fencing which doesn’t help. When they re-aligned the road I’m sure they didn’t make it straight. And at the moment it is worse because the grass is growing.”

Lothian list MSP Miles Briggs (Conservative), is backing constituents who are calling for the Scottish Government to take more action to improve the safety of road junctions on the A702.

He said: “While I recognise the Scottish Government has made some moves to improve junction safety, much more needs to be done and I am calling on the transport minister to investigate further options to improve road safety including altered layouts.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Road safety is of paramount importance to the Scottish Government and we have invested over £19.2 million in the A702 since 2007 to improve safety and efficiency.

“We are currently looking to promote a no waiting/loading/unloading traffic regulation order at Hillend to improve junction visibility, reduce indiscriminate parking and improve traffic flow through the A720 Lothianburn junction. We are also considering feedback from the community regarding the installation of an uncontrolled crossing traffic island near the chiropractor clinic on the A702 in Hillend.

“We will continue to monitor the safety of the A702, including the Hillend junction, and the effectiveness of the planned measures.”