Sheriffhall going around in circles

Friday March 6th 2020

Stephen Curran Sheriffhall

From left to right: Cllr Stephen Curran, Raymond Diamond, Alex Bennett, Eric Bunyan.

Letter written by Councillor Stephen Curran

Dear Midlothian View,

It now appears that grade separation of the six arm Sheriffhall roundabout has become a political pawn in the ‘Game of Government’, nothing more than a bargaining tool for power and notoriety between the Greens and the SNP.

We are now informed of another Government review, a review that received the support of my local MSP Colin Beattie when he voted for a deal with the Greens that results in yet a further delay. All this more than a decade after grade separation was agreed. Ironically, I recently read (with a wry smile) that Colin Beattie is criticising the Greens for their position on Sheriffhall. Well Colin, the horse has bolted and you unlocked the stable door. Classic ‘playing to the crowd’.

Meanwhile in the land of the living, severe congestion, accidents and injuries continue at Scotland’s most dangerous roundabout. Grade separation is not only essential for improved safety and traffic flow, but also for accessibility and the safety of non-motorised users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Newton Village resident Raymond Diamond, who is an avid walker refuses to go beyond Sheriffhall, saying

“Sheriffhall is too difficult for me to navigate so I avoid it when I’m out for a stroll. Dare I say that had Sheriffhall been located in the west of Scotland it would have been upgraded years ago”.

Danderhall resident Eric Bunyan said

“I enjoy going out on my bicycle during the summer months, but I just don’t have the confidence to go near Sheriffhall”.

This upgrade is not about increasing capacity for car travel (which would counter our efforts to tackle climate change), it’s about resolving the severe congestion, decreasing pollution, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries, improving traffic flow and accessibility.

Whether we like it or not, the car is here to stay irrespective of the fuel source that powers it, and as yet our public transport services do not have the capacity to commute the 52% of Midlothian’s working population to and from Edinburgh.

Grade separation (flyover) is urgently required, and I will continue to pressure MSP’s of all parties to make sure they deliver on their commitment to Sheriffhall and Midlothian.

Regards

Cllr Stephen Curran
Dalkeith, Midlothian.

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