Lesley Hinds halts road closure for sports fans

Match-day chaos has been averted after plans to close a key road near Tynecastle and Murrayfield were postponed.
Work was due to begin on the rail bridge. Picture: Julie BullWork was due to begin on the rail bridge. Picture: Julie Bull
Work was due to begin on the rail bridge. Picture: Julie Bull

Football and rugby fans raised the alarm after a sign was put up revealing that 
Russell Road would be shut for works for six months.

City transport leader Lesley Hinds intervened following complaints that the closure would cut off a vital route for fans leaving Murrayfield following Scotland’s home Six Nations fixtures this spring, as well as Hearts supporters exiting Tynecastle.

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Work was due to be carried out by Network Rail starting on January 20 to reinforce a bridge on the Edinburgh to Glasgow main line which was damaged in a collision.

The bridge crosses Russell Road, which runs between Roseburn Street and Murieston Crescent and allows fans to get between Corstorphine and Gorgie or Dalry roads.

The street is also regularly used for parking by buses bringing in away fans for games at Hearts, while Murrayfield is also set to play host to global rock stars Foo Fighters in June.

Russell Road only recently reopened last year following work to build the tram line.

Tom Watson, chairman of the Hearts Supporters’ Club, said any road closure outside the summer months would cause serious disruption to fans heading to and from games.

Mr Watson said: “It’s a shortcut for fans if you’re coming from Roseburn, so closing it would make a big difference. A lot of fans use it. Obviously people going to Murrayfield use it the same way.”

Cllr Hinds said the work would be postponed pending further discussions with both the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) and Hearts.

She said: “These works have not been approved. Russell Road was closed only recently to enable tram works to go ahead and it’s a very important route for Murrayfield and Tynecastle stadiums. Any works involving closure must be carefully coordinated in close consultation with both the SRU and Hearts.”