The council estimates that congestion costs Edinburgh £225m a year, yet they and the Scottish Government insist on repeating the same failed mistakes of the past.Alison Johnstone
A proposed £120m spaghetti junction at Sheriffhall roundabout will increase congestion and should be scrapped, the Scottish Greens have said.
Scottish Green MSPs and councillors have launched a campaign to halt the proposal and instead use the money to improve clean transport across the city region, reflecting Edinburgh’s proposed new ten-year City Mobility Plan.
The campaign highlights how £120m could be better invested in segregated cycle paths, bus lanes and park and rides, transforming the city’s transport infrastructure.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Lothians MSP and Scottish Greens parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone said:
“The council estimates that congestion costs Edinburgh £225m a year, yet they and the Scottish Government insist on repeating the same failed mistakes of the past.
“Since the 1960s we’ve known that if you build more roads, they fill up with cars. That’s why the proposal to turn Sheriffhall roundabout into a spaghetti junction isn’t an upgrade, it’s a step backwards, especially when we now know 60,000 cars are coming into the city every morning.
“This is the 21st century, and we are in a climate emergency. £120m could go a long way in transforming our capital for the future. It could pay for 120 miles of segregated cycle paths, for example. It could boost our bus lanes and park and ride offerings to get our city moving again, instead of sitting in gridlock every day.
“The SNP in Edinburgh council and Holyrood need to match their rhetoric with real transformative change if we are to build a sustainable future. That means ditching the failed old ways like spaghetti junctions.”
Edinburgh Green councillor Claire Miller said: “There is only one credible direction for Edinburgh, which is at least reflected in the council’s draft plan, but Edinburgh has struggled to get even basic bike schemes off the ground, while developing a single tram line was fraught. That can’t continue.
“The city region deal needs to catch up too, that’s why £120m going towards a spaghetti junction at Sheriffhall just does not add up. The prize is a much better Edinburgh for everyone.”