No end in sight for Sheriffhall Roundabout chaos

Iain Gray MSP has raised the issue of ongoing congestion and delays at the Sheriffhall Roundabout with the Transport Secretary on the floor of the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Gray raised the issue following numerous complaints from East Lothian residents about the situation, which creates chaos for commuters and businesses using the Edinburgh City Bypass.

Speaking after his question, Iain Gray MSP said:

“Like many East Lothian residents, I have lost count of the time I have spent waiting in queues at the Sheriffhall Roundabout over the years.

“Improvements have been promised for many years now, and, earlier this year, Ministers indicated that work aimed at easing congestion at the roundabout would be happening in the near future.

“However, when I asked the Transport Secretary when work on the proposed improvements will begin, the answer I got was less than clear, with no date for the work forthcoming.

“This is not good enough and it’s time for the Scottish Government to deliver its commitment to carry out the improvements and solve this endemic problem once and for all.”

The full exchange in Parliament was as follows:

Sheriffhall Roundabout (Planned Improvements)

  1. Iain Gray (East Lothian) (Lab):

To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made with the planned improvements to the Sheriffhall roundabout on the A720. (S5O-03558)

The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity (Michael Matheson):

The Scottish Government remains committed to undertaking improvements at the Sheriffhall roundabout, and Transport Scotland continues to progress the detailed development and assessment of the preferred option for the grade separation of the roundabout with a view to publishing draft orders later this year for formal comment.

As part of the essential preparatory work, Transport Scotland has undertaken ground investigation and environmental survey work, with the output informing the design of the scheme. In addition to that, extensive consultation with active travel stakeholders has been undertaken to ensure that the proposed improvements include suitable provision for all users, including cyclists.

Iain Gray:

The improvements have been promised for years, and it sometimes seems to commuters from my constituency that they have spent those years waiting in a queue at the Sheriffhall roundabout. Will the minister please give us a date on which the work will start?

Michael Matheson:

The member will be aware that the improvements were committed to through the Edinburgh and south-east Scotland city region deal, which was agreed back in 2017. Progress has been made since then, and the development assessment work on the preferred option is being taken forward by Transport Scotland.

It is difficult to give a specific date for completion because, once the draft orders are issued, individuals are allowed to comment on the matter, which could trigger a local public inquiry, and that could have an impact on the timeframe. I assure the member that we are committed to taking the project forward. I wish to see the project moving as quickly as possible, but certain issues could have an impact on the finalised timescale for completion of the project.