Two die after driver goes wrong way along bypass

THREE people were killed on Scotland's roads at the weekend, including two in a head-on crash involving a driver travelling in the wrong direction on a dual carriageway.

A man and a woman died when their cars collided on the A720 Edinburgh city bypass early yesterday.

In the other incident, a man was killed when a car and a van collided in the Borders on Saturday.

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The head-on crash happened on the westbound carriageway of the capital's bypass, half a mile west of the Sheriffhall roundabout at about 1:15am yesterday.

One of the cars involved was travelling the wrong way along the carriageway, which has a 70mph speed limit.

It was not clear last night how the vehicle got on to the road but the closest sliproad from the carriageway, which the motorist may have driven down by accident, is some three miles away at the Straiton junction.

Lothian and Borders Police appealed for witnesses. A spokesman said: "The head-on collision involved two motor vehicles, as a result of which both drivers sustained fatal injuries.

"There were no other occupants within the vehicles. The next of kin of both drivers have been informed.

"Police are appealing to anyone who may have seen either a vehicle being driven eastbound on the westbound carriageway or witnessed the accident to contact them on 0131-311 3131."

The bypass was completely closed for about half an hour after the crash, with the westbound carriageway remaining shut for nearly four hours.

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "We attended the scene but did not transport anyone to hospital."

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In a previous incident with apparent similarities to yesterday's crash, an 80-year-old man from Dalkeith in Midlothian was killed when he drove westbound along the eastbound carriageway of the bypass and crashed head-on with another car near the Straiton junction, on Christmas Day 2005.

The driver and a passenger in the other car escaped with minor injuries.

In Saturday's crash, Robert McCormick, 51, a hotel porter from Dumfries, was killed when his Renault Megane collided with a Fiat Ducato van near Moffat.

The crash happened at about 11am on Saturday on the A701 at the Devil's Beef Tub, five miles north of the village.

Mr McCormick and a passenger in the van were taken to Dumfries Royal Infirmary for treatment while a second passenger escaped uninjured.

The road was closed for nine hours for crash investigation work.

Lothian and Borders Police appealed for witnesses to the crash.Meanwhile, police yesterday named a motorcyclist who died following an accident last weekend as James Paton from Caldercruis, Airdrie.

Mr Paton, who was 52, suffered serious injuries in the incident on the A85 Lochearnhead to Crianlarich road near to Glen Ogle last Sunday.

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He was airlifted to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow where he died on Friday.

l Rail travellers north of Edinburgh suffered extensive disruption yesterday because of signalling problems in Fife. ScotRail was forced to halt trains on the Fife Circle between Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy.