Most accidents at Eskbank Toll

Tuesday June 18th 2019

Eskbank Toll

Written by Midlothian View Editor, Phil Bowen

An official accident analysis report produced for the next council Meeting on Tuesday 25th June has reported that the largest number of accidents on Council designated roads was at the Eskbank Toll Roundabout, the junction of the A6094, A768, B6392, and B703. In the last 3 years up to December 2018 there were 8 accidents, of which 2 were serious and 6 slight.

The council records all injury accidents on a Key Accidents database which is used by many local authorities throughout the country. From this database the council are able to produce a priority list based on the number of road injury accidents within a set distance of the roundabout, junction, bend etc. The priority list is refreshed regularly once accidents are confirmed by the police.

The report was requested by councillors in the March council meeting to help them to decide if a roundabout should be built at the Leadburn Junction. In response to a motion from Councillor Hardie calling for the roundabout, the councillors wanted to know which were the most dangerous junctions in Midlothian.

The report reported on the number of accidents on trunk roads which are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and those that are on council designated roads for which Midlothian Council are responsible for.

For trunk roads the largest number of accidents were at:

1. The Sheriffhall Roundabout with 16 accidents, 3 were serious and 13 slight.
2. A702 at the Hillend triple junction with A703 and C36 Pentland Road, 5 accidents – all slight
3. A68 at the junction with the B6372 for Dewarton/Gorebridge, 4 accidents – 2 serious, 2 slight
4. A702 at the junction for Hillend Ski Centre, 4 accidents – all slight,
5. A68 at the junction with the A6106 for Dalkeith, 3 accidents – all slight

For council designated roads the largest number of accidents were at:

1. Eskbank Toll Roundabout, junction of the A6094, A768, B6392, and B703, 8 accidents – 2 serious and 6 slights)
2. near to Eskbank Toll on the B6392 on the bends between Eskbank and Elginhaugh Bridge – 7 accidents – 1 serious and 6 slight.
3. Third equal were 5 sites with 5 accidents each:
– A6106 King’s Gate, 1 fatal, 3 serious, 1 slight
– A6094 Dalkeith High Street, 1 serious, 4 slight
– A6094 Eskbank Road near Croft St, all slight
– A701 Straiton B702 junction, all slight
– A7/A6094 Eskbank Road roundabout all slight
8. In joint 8th place were 6 sites with 4 accidents each:
– A701/A703/A6094 Leadburn crossroads, 2 serious, 2 slight
– A6094 bends east of Howgate, 2 serious, 2 slight
– A6094/B6372 crossroads, 1 serious, 3 slight
– A701/A703 Ploverhall junction, all slight
– B6373 Buccleuch St/London Rd/Lothian St/Lothian Rd junction, all slight
– B6482 Bryans Rd/Morris Rd/Suttieslea Rd junction, all slight

At the council meeting later this month councillors will also discuss a motion to postpone the school bus cut for the Easthouses and Eskbank buses. One of the safer walking routes suggested is through the Eskbank Toll roundabout. Parents will want to know how it can be considered safer when it is the most dangerous junction in the council’s road network.

The cost of building an roundabout at the Leadburn Junction is estimated at £1.3m. A cheaper alternative at £360,000 would be to install traffic lights instead.

Informal approaches have been made to Officers of Scottish Borders Council (SBC), and they have advised that SBC is unable to contribute to a roundabout at Leadburn. Previous attempts by SBC to raise developer contributions for Leadburn from housing sites in the Borders have been overturned by The Scottish Government’s Reporter.

The report states the risk of not achieving the best accident reduction outcome if the Leadburn site is given priority over other sites with more significantly ranked problems or which are more easily treatable. The Council may be required to demonstrate how accident reduction funds were prioritised in any subsequent accident inquiries or court proceedings.

SBC have agreed to co-operate on investigating any further improvements to signage on the approaches to the junction to improve advance speed activated signing at Leadburn and work with Safety Camera Programme to consider installing fixed speed cameras or average speed cameras in place of occasional use of mobile camera van.

Read the full council report HERE.

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