Traffic restrictions reinstated at Gladhouse Reservoir  

Midlothian Council is reinstating temporary parking restrictions at Gladhouse Reservoir.

From 3 April

The restrictions will be implemented from 3 April until 1 October 2023 on part of the U80 Gladhouse Road along the reservoir’s northern shore.

Emergency stopping only

The road will operate as a clearway, making it illegal to stop for any reason except in an emergency.

Visitor attraction

A designated Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI), Gladhouse Reservoir has become increasingly popular with visitors in recent years, particularly during holidays and weekends.

Cars parked on verges

The site has no parking facilities and is accessed by a narrow minor road with no appropriate passing places.  At busier times, there have been reports of more than 100 vehicles parked on the verge by the road which can impede emergency access.

Potential danger

In addition to restricted emergency access, vehicles travelling in opposite directions can often meet, resulting in inconvenient reversing, driver frustration and potential danger to road users and pedestrians.

Antisocial behaviour

As well as general damage to the verge and adjacent fencing, there has been a regular impact from littering and fires. Large campsites have also been erected by visitors, with antisocial behaviour including ‘wild toileting’ reported.

Restrictions helped last year

The temporary introduction of clearway restrictions in 2022 significantly improved this situation, resulting in safer road conditions, reduced damage to verges and fencing, and less antisocial behaviour. 

Ranger monitoring behaviour

A dedicated Countryside Ranger, funded by Scottish Water, has now been temporarily employed to challenge and monitor visitor behaviour where necessary.

Car park planning application

A planning application has also been submitted by Scottish Water to Midlothian Council for the creation of a car park at Gladhouse Reservoir to provide a safe place to leave vehicles and improve the experience for visitors.

Helping emergency services

A Midlothian Council spokesperson said: “These temporary restrictions have been adopted again to mitigate the risk of parked vehicles at Gladhouse Reservoir impeding access in emergencies over the spring and summer months. 

Safe facility

"Scottish Water is committed to creating a car park at this location and this will provide a suitable and safe facility for Gladhouse Reservoir visitors in the near future.

Cars can park outwith clearway

“While we want to encourage people to look after their wellbeing and enjoy being active in beautiful outdoor spaces like Gladhouse, public safety remains the priority. In the meantime, drivers can park outwith the designated clearway, and we encourage visitors to do so with due care and consideration.” 

23 Mar 2023