Update on the death at Fairmilehead Crossroads

Passer

I feel proud that people in my Ward did all they could to help this man.

A report in the Evening News today suggests the tragic death at Fairmilehead crossroads on Thursday may be linked to an incident of so called “road rage”. I am sure everyone’s thoughts are with the family of the man that died.
I’d like to thank the emergency services for dealing with the incident. Spacial thanks must also go to those that attempted CPR to give the man the best possible chance of recovering.
I spoke to the reporter behind the article and I know he was surprised by some of the driving he witnessed in the area and the strength of feeling locally on the issue. Some of the comments I received in the 2-3 days after the incident:
  1. …traffic congestion has increased alarmingly over the year from The Charwood Restaurant to the lights at Fairmilehead Crossroads…
  2. … Because West to South (Biggar Road) cars are accelerating towards the junction, on a downward slope and turning towards the oncoming traffic it is surprising we don’t have more serious accidents…
  3. … Nearly every single day there are multiple near misses (and some not missed!) with horns blaring and brakes screeching and heated shouting matches…
  4. …My kids take their life in their hands every day crossing Biggar Road near the bypass, when they get off the number 4 bus. Cars coming off the bypass accelerate crazily up that stretch…
  5. …My son is 11 and should be independently walking to school, but the road is too busy/unsafe…
  6. …There’s no proper filters on these lights. I have to turn right every morning and the amount of angry people, despite you have your indicator on speed in front of the cars in the other lane. Cars blocking other cars in the morning and the speed of cars in this area is appalling…
  7. …I have personally witnessed appalling driving in this area and also across the city… 
  8. …I really feel for the family of the man who died. It is very surprising that there are not more accidents at this junction…
  9. …It’s very sad to hear that there was a death – and though it may not have been due to the traffic, it is only a matter of time. I have been going on about the speed limit on that road for years… …The First Minister has declared a climate emergency – we should be making all travel easier for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport and not motorists… 
  10. …there is a right filter at the crossroads for traffic citybound but the other two lanes are also on green. This means that anyone waiting to turn right coming from the city has to gauge when the lights have turned to red for the citybound vehicles. Any driver who is a visitor turning right from the city can be tempted to swing out when they see their set of lights turn to red, right across the oncoming traffic… 
  11. …I agree entirely with you that the speed limit should be reduced to 30, and be in force at Hillend… 
  12. …One issue that concerns me (and I am not a local resident) is the mismatch between some of the time scales (eg new lights) and the seriousness of the residents’ comments… 
  13. …I agree lower speed limits would help with safety and also support more sustainable active travel options. The main issue is however the sheer volume of traffic. Stand at that junction in the morning and or early evening and witness the ridiculous number of single occupancy cars… 
  14. …One issue that concerns me (and I am not a local resident) is the mismatch between some of the time scales (eg new lights) and the seriousness of the residents’ comments…
  15. …Going north, folk are often coming from the bypass – so their brains are still going at speed – and having two (going into three) lanes does nothing to encourage them to slow down. Then people are elbowing past each other to get through the junction: more often than not, people are cutting up the left lane to go straight on and get ahead of those in the middle lane. The driving is often very aggressive coming up to that junction. Even in the car I feel unsafe there… 
  16. …I have long avoided this junction because there is no right turn filter going into Oxgangs Road and because you are blinded by headlights as the traffic comes up from the by pass to the cross roads… 
  17. …I would also like to add a comment about the traffic situation. The bus stop at the foot of Biggar Road requires us to cross the road to get to our home at Swanston Drive. At certain periods of the day particularly this is now simply dangerous. The cars coming off the bypass often accelerate up towards the lights at Fairmilehead whilst the cars approaching the bypass speed down the Biggar Road. Lots of dodging of cars…  
  18. …The lines on the roundabout closest to Craigdon should be more clear about car positioning, especially south to north. At Fairmilehead the lack of a filter from driving south to turning West is ludicrously dangerous…
  19. …just to say I am 100% with you on reducing the speed, particularly given the schoolkids but also adults too cross to commute daily. There is a lot of pedestrians crossing daily. I think 30 is sensible…
  20. …The area around the Buckstone shops is an accident waiting to happen with car drivers doing crazy things including crossing 4 lanes to get into the parking facing the wrong way and double parking.For cyclists, achieving a right turn from Comiston road into any side street especially uphill…
  21. …You are so right about the crossroads at Fairmilehead and particularly the cars approaching the crossroads to go into Bigger rd are time after time accelerating through the red light…
  22. …I grew up in Winton and now live just down the road and I really care about the area. I have an elderly mum with dementia in Winton who crosses Biggar Rd daily and it worries me hugely. A pedestrian crossing there is much needed… 
  23. …I don’t think the problem is limited to those crossroads. I still worry about my 13yo crossing to the bus stop at Buckstone in the mornings (especially in the dark), and my 10yo doesn’t get anywhere near that road without an adult even though she has really good road sense. She would love to be able to go across to the newsagent with her friends! And it would be great if she could get used to crossing that road before high school…
  24. …The roundabout at the top of the slip road off the bypass would benefit from a mid white line being painted on it. Too often vehicles switch lanes while using the roundabout causing cutting in, this could certainly lead to frustration… 
  25. …May I also voice a plea to have the speed limit reduced to 30 mph- traffic from the bypass can come tearing down the road – if there are 2 lanes completely free of traffic I am afraid that residents particularly schoolchildren crossing the road will be even more in danger of being knocked over than they are now…
  26. …It’s a terrible road and I’m surprised something hasn’t happened before now…
  27. …At busy times there are few cars traveling through those lights at 40. So don’t see a speed limit change impacting that junction too much. A good turning filter could allow three lanes to move. It’s just a bust junction though…
I agree that there is a lot that could be done to make this stretch of road safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. This is what’s happening right now:
  1. The speed limit is under review (this will also look at “rat-running”). Despite opposition from other Councillors, I have argued that the Council should consult on reducing the limit to 30mph.
  2. Further parking restrictions are about to be implemented.
  3. The lights will be replaced over the next year or two to make the junction safer.
  4. A week or two ago I asked the Council if a case could be made for a pedestrian crossing after concerns were raised by a Winton resident.
So whilst this death may not have been caused directly by the road conditions, I am determined that the crossroads and the A702 is made safer for everyone. This is a wide road with wide footpaths, so there should be room for cars, bikes and pedestrians all to move safely.

One thought on “Update on the death at Fairmilehead Crossroads

  1. They need a filter for turning right onto Oxgangs Road when heading South as you have to cross heavy traffic traveling North. This would avoid people rat running to avoid this junction. I rat run myself at peak times for safety reasons rather than use this junction. We also need to lower the speed on Buckstone and Pentland Terrace to 30 as turning right across two lanes of either North or South bound busy traffic is becoming almost impossible.
    We need to spend money making roads safer for all car users, cyclists and pedestrians before we spend money narrowing streets like George Street, Forrest Road and the old town. Our council need to prioritise there budget for safety of road users before spending money on roads that they choose to look aesthetically nice but that are not always necessary at the moment. Safety must come first.

    Like

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