Rugby fans travelling to Murrayfield for the Six Nations are already facing disruption after Network Rail began lengthy repairs to Russell Road – a key route to the stadium.
But the travel headache has now been exacerbated by the closure of a traffic lane near Tynecastle – an alternative way to the national rugby stadium.
Gorgie Road has been reduced to one lane between Dalry Road and Robertson Avenue until the end of the week, with contraflow traffic lights operating outside of rush hour, causing “horrendous” all-day traffic.
Council contractors have had to return to already-completed resurfacing work after drainage problems were reported.
The roadworks have snarled traffic up even further following the closure of Russell Road at the end of January, cutting off a well-used shortcut between Gorgie and Roseburn.
Local traders blasted the decision to go ahead with the works while Gorgie Road is carrying even more traffic than usual, and the closure has also had a knock-on effect on buses on Gorgie Road, with delays reported yesterday to services .
One business owner who asked to remain anonymous said he couldn’t believe the new roadworks were approved despite being along a diversion route for Russell Road.
He said: “It’s chaotic just now. I just came along Gorgie Road from the Calder Road into town, and I sat for two light changes as I crawled along past Tynecastle. There’s just a lack of coordination and as a consequence it’s the locals and the businesses that suffer.”
Businesses in the area said that traffic had been gridlocked along Gorgie Road from the start of rush hour through to the early evening since the roadworks began.
Jackie Oliver, who works at R&J Oliver butcher on Gorgie Road, said: “The traffic is horrendous. It’s been nose to tail from the morning, continuing all day.
“There are even more cars coming through because of the closure [at Russell Road].”
City transport bosses attempted to stop the closure of Russell Road going ahead over concerns that cutting off the route used by rugby fans throughout the Six Nations would create a crowd bottleneck after matches at Murrayfield.
However, the city relented after Network Rail bosses said repairs to the rail bridge were essential following damage in a collision.
A council spokesman said: “It’s disappointing that these works have overlapped, however both projects will be completed in time for the weekend and Saturday’s Six Nations match.”