CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

A701 "Relief Road"

(47 posts)
  • Started 2 months ago by Frenchy
  • Latest reply from glasgow megasnake

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  1. Frenchy
    Member

    @chdot posted about this in the Sheriffhall thread, but it really needs its own thread.

    http://www.midlothianadvertiser.co.uk/news/plans-on-the-right-road-1-4551536

    Trying to understand what the upshot would be for cycling. They say that "the existing A701 would become a primary route for public transport, walking and cycling" - but there's no way they're diverting all cars down the new road, away from Straiton retail park and the industrial estate.

    Perhaps they'll close it to through traffic (except bikes, buses, pedestrians)?

    Straiton junction is the elephant in the room, here.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

  3. Frenchy
    Member

    15 years ago (£18m)
    http://www.scotsman.com/news/going-out-on-a-limb-to-stop-a-road-1-847267

    Before my time, I'm afraid - is this referring to the building of the current road?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  4. kaputnik
    Moderator

    "Relief Road"?

    Relief from what?

    Looks like a way to funnel ever more traffic onto the Straiton Junction ever so slightly quicker*.

    *probably slower

    Just moved the problem a little bit closer to Edinburgh. Maybe that's the idea?

    Perhaps if commuter options (e.g. the bus) from West Linton, Penicuik, Biggar etc. weren't so pedestrian...

    Posted 2 months ago #
  5. Murun Buchstansangur
    Member

    Looks like a replacement project for this?

    http://www.penicuikcuckoo.co.uk/2015/11/midlothian-to-scrap-a701-bypass-protection/

    Posted 2 months ago #
  6. chdot
    Admin

    "is this referring to the building of the current road?"

    You mean current road or new plan?

    Previous plan didn't happen (mainly no money I think).

    This is revise/amend route, add 'modern' buzzwords about how better for ActiveTravel.

    Last time CEC objected to MidL's plans.

    Still no money for cross-boundary cycle routes.

    Missed opportunities with Borders Line, etc.

    Transport? Policy?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  7. ejstubbs
    Member

    @kaputnik: "Looks like a way to funnel ever more traffic onto the Straiton Junction ever so slightly quicker"

    The proposal in the Midlothian Advertiser article linked by Frenchy would give people the option of cutting across to the the A702 and picking up the bypass at Lothianburn. Or even missing out the bypass altogether, if they actually want to head in towards Morningside (which, if you cross the bypass on the A701, involves negotiating the already rather rubbish Kaimes crossroads - which is itself only to get more busy when the new development at Burdiehouse is finished and occupied).

    I'm not saying that's a good thing, just pointing out that, unlike the old proposal, it's not just a faster way to dump traffic at the Straiton junction.

    I do think that it may be a good thing to provide a route between the A701 and A702 which doesn't involve the use of the bypass, the horrible acute-angled double junction at Hillend, or the rat run through the Bush campus.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  8. Frenchy
    Member

    You mean current road or new plan?

    I meant existing road. Ta.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  9. Lezzles
    Member

    This is my neck of the woods. The number of new houses that are being planned (and built) on this corridor into Edinburgh has hugely slowed traffic down in and out of town. However they've continued to remove bus services (Achendinny now has no Edinburgh bus service) from these towns and villages which means more people have gotten in their cars. Few of us cyclists dare go down through Straiton as its horrid. If I go to Ikea or Sainsburys by bike there are generally only 1 or 2 in the racks. Its just not a nice place to cycle.

    I can't imagine the relief road would make much difference to this.

    There are also a large number of cyclists coming out of Edinburgh to the Bush Estate since the Roslin Institute and the Vet school moved here. However, apart from reducing the speed limit to 40 on A703 and a short shared path from the A703 to the vet school there has been no change in the infrastructure to accomodate all these cyclists. But its still a better route to come that way than it is to come up Straiton.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  10. kaputnik
    Moderator

    The proposal in the Midlothian Advertiser article linked by Frenchy would give people the option of cutting across to the the A702 and picking up the bypass at Lothianburn.

    Can they not already do that anyway by taking the Seafield Moor Road (with the horrible turn at the junction)? Again it's still a case of getting to the next junction slightly quicker.

    A new road might solve/mitigate some of the problems listed, but with ever more housing being added to the Midlothian towns, confirming their status as defacto dormitory suburbs for Edinburgh, it might in the long run make things worse as ever more people move out of the city and want to drive back into it to work (or heading out of the city to work in areas like the Bush).

    Midlothian and Edinburgh might (would probably most definitely) both be better off at looking at the realistic public transport improvements that can be made to speed commuters far more efficiently to/from Midlothian.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  11. Arellcat
    Moderator

    defacto dormitory suburbs for Edinburgh

    That's house prices for you.

    The three-way junction at Damhead/Hillend is very heavily oversubscribed for Edinburgh-bound commuters, most of whom are using the Seafield Moor Road, which funnels the traffic into a…funnel. Uberuce will know this already, and I am slowly discovering it, to the point that I'm modifying my commute to take me to the A702 sooner, simply to eliminate that right turn at the junction.

    The problem starts when everyone is doing that. And the problem is as lezzles said: there are loads of houses going up. On the field to the south of the old Roslin brickworks site it's all prosperous Cala houses going up, so most likely, yet more car commuters.

    Segregated cycle routes, with a design speed of 30mph, on the A701, the A702 and A703 are needed, along with a P&R that goes north-west, not north.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  12. kaputnik
    Moderator

    along with a P&R that goes north-west, not north.

    There are occasional noises about a bus service from Midlothian around the Bypass, e.g. to the Gyle/Edinburgh Park/Gogar which never seem to get anywhere.

    There's a lot of Midlothian dwellers in our office and with the exception of one fairly committed Roadie, they all drive in, as the bus services, even where good, all run into Princes Street and would add hours on to their Journeys.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  13. Lezzles
    Member

    There's a consultation to build a new high school for Loanhead and Roslin and Bilston next to the vet school which would increase traffic along Bush Loan or the A703. I'd like to push for them to build a segregated cycle route to the school if it goes ahead. Otherwise all children will have to get the bus/car to school as the pavements are very narrow around there.

    I'd also love a cycleway from Hillend out to the Vet school to protect all the students/staff coming out. I used to cycle that route daily and the bit between Hillend and Damhead nursery could get quite hairy. They don't seem to feature on any of these plans though.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  14. ih
    Member

    http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=16821#post-229637

    There's such a lot of development in the Lothians, and Fife. It should be time for all transport authorities in the region to get together and try to organise a public transport plan, including cycling of course, that will take people efficiently where they need to go on the daily commute.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  15. ejstubbs
    Member

    @kaputnik: "Can they not already do that anyway by taking the Seafield Moor Road (with the horrible turn at the junction)?"

    Yes they can, but that junction is really not at all safe. You are trying to turn right to join traffic that's approaching around a blind bend more or less behind you to your left - which is just about the worst place to see traffic approach from in a right-hand drive car (and must be just about impossible in a van unless you have a passenger to act as lookout). At the same time you have to check for traffic approaching from your right - more like straight ahead, in fact - in the lane you have to cross. This on a fairly busy road with a 40mph limit which is not always complied with particularly well, and with a secondary junction within a few tens of yards downstream.

    If something like that was built today as part of new cycling infrastructure we would be wailing from the rooftops about it.

    As the other non-bypass way to get between the two roads is a rat run that will, as Lezzles has pointed out, very likely have a new school built along its route, I can't bring myself to condemn a scheme that will send motorised traffic a more sensible way - especially if it means that, for example, Seafield Moor Road could then be prioritised to receive some high-quality cycling infrastructure.

    But I would agree with Arellcat that the whole area is crying out for some quality cycling infrastructure, not least because of the quantities of housing that are slated to be built there.

    I can't help noticing that the A701 relief road as now proposed will bypass the existing Straiton park-and-ride. The proposal seems to be crying out for a (long overdue) park-and-ride on the A702 south of Hillend, which would be accessible from the A701 as well via the spur road.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  16. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    I stumbled on the tree houses in Bilston Wood in @chdot's link a couple of years back on a blunder through Midlothian. Nicely built.

    The term 'relief road' really should be banned.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  17. kaputnik
    Moderator

    It should go in the bin with "Regeneration Route", which is what Glasgow Council was referring to their Urban Motorway to be driven through the eastern suburbs as thus bringing peace, joy and prosperity to deprived and neglected communities.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  18. chdot
    Admin

  19. Arellcat
    Moderator

    There's a drop-in event today at the Roslin Bowling Club, 3pm-7pm. Mostly about plans for all the new housing that's going in (and set to double the size of the village, practically) but road-building no doubt in there too.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. Lezzles
    Member

    I went to the event in Roslin last night and talked to the builders representative.

    I asked about whether they'd be creating a wider pavement into the village (its currently hellishly narrow and cars and lorries go far faster than the 30mph speed limit).

    Surprising comment was 'People in midlothian never ask for cycling to be built into developments whereas in Edinburgh its quite a standard request'.

    Do people in Midlothian never think about cycling as an option because the roads are too scary? Certainly many friends think I'm mad for cycling 1.5 miles to work on a wide open road rather than driving.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. Arellcat
    Moderator

    I was there too, and the two guys from David Wilson Homes were getting a hard time of it. There was some nonsense talked about hard standing plus a SUDS being better at attenuating rainfall than the original field.

    Transport assessments are 'to come later' as 'part of the detailed planning application'. I was met with silent incredulity from DWH when I said that not everyone who lives in the village—for it is still a village, but perhaps not for much longer—drives to work, and what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it if you tip all these extra car drivers onto the roads.

    It was all a bit "well you've got to build houses haven't you?", with the reason that instruction from Midlothian Council or the SG meant they had to honour a certain quota of new houses. Of course, these are all huge houses with garages and gardens and 3 or 4 bedrooms, not the kind of small houses that people in need of first-time-buyer houses can actually afford.

    Lots of rhetoric about tree-lined footpaths set back from the Main Street, and creating a 'strong sense of arrival', and a 'permeable' site - I wouldn't be surprised if this really means "drive through-able", with chicane gates on every connecting footpath.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  22. chdot
    Admin

    "Surprising comment was 'People in midlothian never ask for cycling to be built into developments whereas in Edinburgh its quite a standard request'."

    Did they mean potential buyers, existing residents or MidL council?

    Rarely looked further than 'more development means more roads'.

    Plans for Shawfair had lots of lines on maps for walk/cycle routes.

    Should have been built before expanding Roslin.

    Remind me where Roslin railway station is...

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. crowriver
    Member

    "Of course, these are all huge houses with garages and gardens and 3 or 4 bedrooms"

    That's "what the market wants" apparently. Fits the narrative of selling the first-timer two bed flat in Leith/Gorgie etc. and moving to the dormitory 'burbs to start a family. Of course you have to have a car when you have kids/move to the 'burbs. I mean, you'd have something wrong with you if you try and raise a family without car/somewhere else than the 'burbs.

    See also: South Queensferry, Dalgety Bay, Winchburgh, Musselburgh, Prestonpans/Longniddry, etc. (though at least most of these have a train station and/or reasonable cycling links).

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. chdot
    Admin

    “That's "what the market wants" apparently.”

    Well that’s what the marketeers want you to believe.

    And there are obviously plenty willing to accept this “norm”.

    But it would be unfair to (entirely) blame the volume house builders.

    They are just providing the solidity to a society planned around cars and roads.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. Lezzles
    Member

    Does anyone use Gowkley Moss as a route?

    I drove to work this morning and noticed they've put new paint on to demarcate a bus lane which seems to push the 3 lanes into 2. I normally cycle over the roundabout and although its 3 lanes its relatively straight foward because my middle lane (travelling from Roslin to Bush Estate) is quiet and most of the cars are travelling from Edinburgh to Penicuik so pass me on my left hand side.

    It seems strange to put a bus lane over the top of existing lanes that were flowing quite well.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  26. fimm
    Member

    I ride Gowkley Moss on leisure rides, not as a commuter. I'm not sure where the bus lane you refer to is; there are various on various arms of the roundabout.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  27. Lezzles
    Member

    Yes its new paint - wasn't there on Friday when i cycled home but was there on Monday when i went to work. Seems to have superseded the existing paint but I don't understand its logic. Someone suggested its to do with the bus super corridor they want to create down to Straiton.

    Any ideas who i should contact?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  28. Frenchy
    Member

    I spoke very briefly with two Midlothian Council officers today, might as well share here.

    The expectation is that the new road will be so much quicker for people going between Penicuik and Edinburgh that the current A701 will become a sustainable transport corridor by default, with no need to close it to cars.

    Also, the A7 is going to get new cycleways, footways and bus stops from the Hardengreen roundabout to the roundabout at Dobbie's. They'd hoped that this would be done in one go, but will almost certainly be done in stages. Timescale of ~5 years from now.

    @Lezzles - I'll PM you the names of the officers I spoke to, they might be able to tell you.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  29. Klaxon
    Member

    the current A701 will become a sustainable transport corridor by default, with no need to close it to cars.

    How blissfully naïve

    Posted 1 month ago #
  30. chdot
    Admin

    “How blissfully naïve”

    That’s polite...

    Posted 1 month ago #

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