Groups unite to demand improved cycling and pedestrian crossings over Queensferry and Hillhouse Roads
Community Councils and Parent Council reps have joined forces to campaign for local road safety improvements. Craigleith Blackhall and Drumbrae Community Councils, Blackhall Primary and Royal High School Parent Councils are calling for action to make routes to schools safer and improved crossings on Queensferry and Hillhouse Roads.
Residents have reported particular problems when trying to cross those two busy roads: from having to walk too far to find a crossing, to avoiding dangerous speeding traffic or finding somewhere suitable for a bike to cross.
These and other related traffic issues are frequently raised at both Community Council and Parent Council meetings, so the community representatives have united to address residents’ concerns – they’re currently working together to look at specific problem areas and identify what practical improvements can be made.
Mary Duff is one resident who has expressed concerns over traffic and would like to see improvements to road safety. “”As a parent of a new S1 student who would like to cycle to the Royal High School, can I ask that a new, safe cycle crossing is created in Blackhall to link the residential area to the cycle paths?” she said.
“My son currently has to cross four lanes of traffic to get to the cycle path. Hence he doesn’t take his bike as I feel it is unsafe. The only other option he has is to cycle down the pavement along Hillhouse Road, cross at a busy junction with lots of parked cars (at the Blackhall dip) and cross at the pedestrian crossing … avoiding pedestrians some of the time!”
Craigleith and Blackhall community councillor Neil Watt has also had a nasty incident on busy local roads. He said: “I had a really scary experience crossing the road to Davidson’s Mains Park with my son Owen on the back of the bike – we nearly got hit by a transit turning right jumping the lights.
“I just can’t believe how dangerous and unpleasant it is to cross Hillhouse/Queensferry Road whether you’re on a bike or on foot, and the traffic’s only getting worse. I have a new job in the city centre and want to commute on the bike more, but it’s really tricky hooking up with the cycle network when you live in Blackhall or Clermiston.”
The campaigners aim to ensure their communities benefit from the safest routes to school, that it’s easy and pleasant to walk and cycle to get around, public amenities and businesses are well connected and that residents are helped to do what we they can to reduce pollution.
A spokesperson for the group said: “At the moment, we’re focussing on finding a suitable spot for a new cycle-friendly pedestrian crossing between the Blackhall dip and St Columba’s Church, and seeing what improvements we can make to the existing crossings at Blackhall Library, Craigcrook Road/Quality Street and Clermiston Road North/Queensferry Road. Beyond that, who knows!
“The next step is to ask the City of Edinburgh Council to look into the issues and work with us to improve these sub-standard cycling and walking links. If you want to help please come to one of our meetings or drop us an email via our websites to let us know what you think.”
You can let the group know your views by attending your local community council meeting (Craigleith Blackhall meets on Monday 15 September at 7.30 pm in Stewart’s Melville College on Queensferry Road, while Drumbrae also meets next on Monday 15 September at 7.30pm – in the Rannoch Centre.
If you can’t make a 15 September meeting, email your views to Craigleith Blackhall Community Councillor Neil Watt at email@example.com