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Published On: Thu, Oct 12th, 2017 at 8:32am

It’s all change at Silverknowes roundabout

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Proving that sometimes the public can sway what the council does, there are many changes in the new layout for Silverknowes Roundabout.

The roundabout will be closed off from 23 October to 5 November to conduct the work. The number 29 bus will be diverted during that period. Information on planned bus diversions is here.

The council came up with a layout which gave rise to much adverse comment, but it appears that the new layout is more acceptable to its former critics.

The changes made to the roundabout are intended to help make it safer and more user-friendly for those travelling on two wheels, as well as pedestrians.

Following discussions between Council officers and representatives of cycling groups, a number of new features are currently being installed at the roundabout in north west Edinburgh as part of ongoing carriageway resurfacing works.

The changes include:

– a reduction down to one lane on and off the roundabout from Silverknowes Parkway by introducing footway build-outs

– the creation of a dedicated cycle track on the north side of the roundabout, to the rear of the existing footpath and behind the bus terminus

– the pedestrian refuge island in Lauriston Farm Avenue to be changed to a zebra crossing on a raised table with a  footway build out on the south side to improve sightlines

– the introduction of hatching markings on the centre of the roundabout to reduce the running lane to five metres.

In light of experience with this project, the Council’s Street Design Guidance will be amended, clarifying that the type of cycle lane originally planned in this project which would have followed the perimeter of the roundabout within the carriageway is not recommended for use in Edinburgh. (No doubt this will be interesting news for those working on possible changes to the roundabout at Picardy Place.)

Transport Vice Convener Councillor Karen Doran said: “I’m very pleased that through working together with cycling groups to address their concerns, we’ve been able to achieve this positive outcome. Coupled with the new road surface, which will make it smoother and safer for all road users, these alterations to Silverknowes roundabout will help make it much more accessible for bicycles and pedestrians.”

Local councillor Kevin Lang told The Edinburgh Reporter last night that he was glad that the new scheme is more acceptable.

He said : “I am pleased to see that Council officials have listened to the serious concerns which were expressed and have now agreed a revised plan for the roundabout. Nevertheless, there remain serious questions over how the original flawed design was agreed and very nearly built.

“This roundabout is a key junction in north west Edinburgh. The priority must now be to complete this works as quickly as possible so the disruption to the community is kept to a minimum.”

Councillor Lang first raised this project as ‘a complete and utter shambles’ at a full council meeting.

Councillor Lang had questioned the way the council had dealt with the changes to the road layout which were supposed to be carried out in early September.

He laid a formal question before the full council meeting of 21 September asking why local councillors had not been advised or given full details of the works.

Martin McDonnell of Spokes said: “Spokes greatly welcomes the Council’s new policy to incorporate cycle and pedestrian facilities in resurfacing projects, thus providing new facilities at relatively little cost.  The Silverknowes case shows the value and importance of the Council consulting on the details of such projects.”

Graeme Hart, proprietor of Hart’s Cyclery, said: “I contacted the Council as I was concerned that the resurfacing of the roundabout needed to be done in a cycle-friendly way.  I was pleased to host a meeting with Council officers, along with Spokes, and delighted with the outcome and with the open-minded approach of the Council officers.”



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About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist, and always available for freelance work. A keen iPhoneographer!

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