Councillors hear Leadburn junction safety report

Work to make roads safer along with traffic calming and school safety measures will continue to be prioritised according to need, Tuesday’s full Council agreed.

Scottish Borders asked about support for roundabout

The move comes after councillors asked officers in March to look at getting support from Scottish Borders Council for a roundabout at the Leadburn junction.

Officers asked to measure safety need

At March full Council officers were also asked to report back to councillors before the summer recess with costings for any proposals to make the junction safer and where the money would potentially come from. Officers were also asked to measure the need for any road safety measures at the junction in relation to other Midlothian accident sites.

Accident data

Councillors heard that officers record all accidents resulting in injuries on a computer database. From this a priority list is produced based on the number of accidents at each location within a set distance of road injury accidents within a set distance of, for example, a roundabout, junction or bend.

Leadburn eighth on list

Leadburn is currently ranked joint eighth on the list with five other sites. The list, which excludes local trunk roads as they are not managed by the council, considers all accidents in the last three years to the end of December 2018.

Safety measures implemented

Over the years Midlothian Council has carried out alterations to the junction which have resulted in a reduced number of casualties.

Feasibility study after fatal accident

After a fatal accident in 2005, the first since records began in 1981, the council did a feasibility study on how to improve safety at the Leadburn site. That accident was not caused by the junction. However, it was agreed a roundabout was the best solution.

Funding withdrawn

The roundabout was to be funded from the Regional Transport Partnership, SEStran. The Scottish Government withdrew funding which, along with various other issues including construction delays, meant the roundabout was not built.

Scottish Borders unable to contribute to roundabout

At the full Council on Tuesday, councillors heard informal approaches have been made to officers of Scottish Borders Council (SBC), and they have advised that SBC is unable to contribute to a roundabout at Leadburn.  A new roundabout at Leadburn could cost in the region of £1.3m to £1.4 million.

Previous attempts by SBC to raise developer contributions for Leadburn from housing sites in the Borders have apparently been overturned by The Scottish Government’s Reporter.  SBC has agreed to co-operate on investigating any further improvements to signage on the approaches to the junction.

Report gives context

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for roads, Councillor John Hackett said: “This is a really helpful report that gives the relevant historical background and context to the issue of safety at this junction.

“We all want to keep people safe on our roads and I think the measures proposed, including speed activated signage, would help with this.”

25 Jun 2019