Traffic set to rise on bypass

Edinburgh City Bypass, A720
Edinburgh City Bypass, A720

An additional 10,000 vehicles a day are expected to be using the City Bypass by 2022.

These were the figures given by the Scottish Government to Lothian Tory MSP Miles Briggs, who tabled a series of Parliamentary questions after a new study suggested four of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the UK were on the bypass and costed the region hundreds of millions of pounds.

Mr Briggs, who has pressed the Government to bring forward long-awaited improvements at the Sheriffhall Roundabout, said: “Lothian constituents and businesses will be deeply concerned that the number of vehicles using the City Bypass is rising at such a fast rate when all the Scottish Government can offer is vague assurances that Transport Scotland is looking at ways of mitigating congestion. Commuters and businesses are fed up of lengthy delays and being stuck in long queues on the bypass and feel the Scottish Government has not done any proper long-term planning to increase capacity on the bypass, which is a strategically important route for the whole country.”

“Given the Inrix Roadways study and given the projected increase in the region’s population it is high time that the SNP Government set out detailed and substantial proposals to improve the City Bypass, including a timetable for the Sheriffhall Roundabout improvements, and make sure it is fit for purpose as we go forward. Edinburgh and Lothian are the powerhouse of the Scottish economy and the SNP government needs to recognise this and invest in the region’s roads infrastructure.”

The figures given by Transport Minister Humza Yousaf stated that 78,000 vehicles per day used the bypass in 2014 but this would rise by 5000 to 83,000 next year and by another 5000 to 88,000 by 2022. In the longer term, it is predicted that 102,000 vehicles per day will use the bypass by 2037 with the percentage of heavy goods vehicles increasing from 12 per cent in 2014 to 14 per cent in 2037.