Motorists Face New Year Commuting Misery
Scottish Power's A701 works to return 5 January
It might be a new year, but motorists will face last year’s congestion problems on the A701 with the return of Scottish Power’s roadworks.
As commuters prepare to return to work on Monday January 5, Scottish Power’s contractors are also set to resurrect last year’s A701 roadworks. Their lengthy cable upgrading programme, along the major trunk road, will continue from Monday with works moving south towards Gowkley Moss Roundabout and Milton Bridge.
The Scottish Street Works Register, is warning motorists of nine bouts of major roadworks from the dual carriageway north of Milton Bridge, Penicuik, to the A720 junction at Straiton. Seven of these are forecast to commence on 5 January; the remaining two are due to start by the week’s end. These start dates are those provided on the register and should not be taken as gospel. Past experience tells us that they could vary slightly.
The stretch between Gowkley Moss Roundabout and Milton Bridge will likely lead to motorists from Penicuik choosing the A702 as their trunk route of choice for the duration of works, however, as was witnessed in 2014, the increased volume of traffic could lead to tailbacks on both routes. During peak morning hours last year, motorists experienced delays of up to forty minutes on the A702 because of the increased number of vehicles. The use of the A703 and Bush Loan Road as diversions also added to congestion at Hillend. However Bush Loan Road, which runs through the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus, will join the roadworks’ party later this year, due to the development of a new campus building beside the Roslin Institute.
Scottish Power aim to complete the roadworks north of Bilston’s Ploverhall (Y) junction by the 20 January, however their works around Gowkley Moss will continue until April.
Midlothian Council recently announced that a new A701 bypass is to be constructed from the A720 junction, travelling south-west and joining the A703 at Easter Bush. The new route, safeguarded by the new Midlothian Local Development Plan, would cost around £11m, though this figure could vary depending on the costs associated with purchasing the land required to build the carriageway.
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