Plan for 2000 homes at Maybury ‘threatens gridlock’

The Barnton junction. Picture: Ian Rutherford
The Barnton junction. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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ONE of Edinburgh’s busiest junctions is threatened with gridlock if plans to build more than 2000 new homes in the west of the city go ahead, residents claimed today.

Two greenbelt sites at Maybury and Cammo are earmarked for major housing developments in the city council’s latest planning blueprint.

Up to 1400 homes would be built on the Maybury site – 75 hectares of land either side of Turnhouse Road – and up to 700 more at Cammo, a 28-hectare site west of Maybury Road. But Cammo Residents Association accused the planners of failing to pay adequate attention to the impact the developments would have on traffic flows at the Barnton junction.

The proposed local development plan says the junction capacity would be boosted to cope with extra traffic by “increasing the efficiency of the traffic signals”.

Gary Bennett, Cammo residents’ chairman, said: “Traffic congestion at the Barnton junction is really bad, particularly at rush hour, and is set to get worse if the 1400 new houses planned for north of the Maybury junction go ahead. Adding further to the volume of traffic by proposing a further 700 houses at the Barnton end of the Maybury Road is irresponsible.

“The council suggests changing the phasing of the traffic lights at the Barnton junction but you only have to look at the tailbacks every morning and afternoon to see that this won’t be enough.”

The residents’ concerns have been echoed by Edinburgh West SNP MSP Colin Keir, who said he did not believe the traffic management plan made sense.

He said: “With general comments about ‘upgrades’ to the Barnton, Maybury and Craigs Road junctions, local residents and groups have no faith that any work proposed would be up to the job of maintaining free flow of traffic along Maybury Road. Tinkering with traffic lights and junctions will simply not work.”

He said he was astonished there was no mention in the plan of how development proposals would affect East Craigs, which he described as “the largest cul de sac in Edinburgh” with residents having to use Maybury Road to get in and out.

He said West Craigs would also be badly affected. “As a result, there will still be major congestion with even more traffic from the city bypass being forced to use the A8 corridor past the airport, 
RBS and the Royal Highland showground.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Edinburgh’s local development plan has to find suitable new sites in the city to meet identified housing need. Extensive consultation on options was carried out in 2011/12 and a proposed plan was approved by the planning committee in March 2013.”