Action demanded to make Leadburn junction safe

Michelle Ballantyne, Shona Haslam and David Mundell at the Leadburn junction.
Michelle Ballantyne, Shona Haslam and David Mundell at the Leadburn junction.

Calls are going out for action to be taken to make an accident blackspot just outside the Borders safer.

The Leadburn junction, between Peebles and Penicuik, has seen dozens of accidents over recent years, including several fatal crashes.

A 700-strong petition calling for a roundabout at the junction of the A701, A703 and A6094 was drawn up after a 2010 report revealed there had been 34 reported injury incidents there between 1981 and 2005.

Now Conservative councillors here are calling on Midlothian Council’s Labour-led administration to commit to improving the site.

A motion lodged by Tweeddale West councillor Eric Small asks today’s full meeting of Scottish Borders Council to agree to urge its northern neighbour to take action to improve road safety at theunction, as well as offering to work with it on an enhancement plan.

Mr Small explained: “When I stood for election, I promised the people of Tweeddale West that I would campaign for change at this junction.

“This is a notorious junction, and we are well past the time for action.”

Midlothian Council is set to discuss a similar motion at its next full meeting on Tuesday, February 12.

Backing Mr Small’s motion, South Scotland Conservative list MSP Michelle Ballantyne is calling on the Dalkeith-based council to listen to concerns raised by both Midlothian and Borders residents over the junction’s accident record.

She said: “It is very encouraging to see Scottish Borders Council discussing the Leadburn junction.

“Although it does not sit in the Borders, many motorists in the area use the junction often and have been put at risk by the dangers that it presents.

“Many of my colleagues and I have campaigned for a roundabout to be implemented here.

“I hope that Midlothian Council listens to the concerns raised in this motion and that appropriate action is taken immediately.”

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell agrees, saying: “This junction has been raised with me repeatedly by concerned drivers from my constituency.

“As well as recorded accidents, there is anecdotal evidence of near-misses.

“The Leadburn junction appears confusing to some road-users, and I personally think a roundabout is the best solution.

“This dangerous junction has remained far too long, and we need to seize this chance to sort it out.”

Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP Christine Grahame said the Leadburn junction had been a source of safety concern for Borderers travelling to Edinburgh for many years and she would also be keen to see action taken.

“I’d welcome any action to improve it, but ultimately this falls at the feet of Midlothian Council,” she said.

Mr Small’s motion asks that council leader Shona Haslam be tasked with taking the matter up with Midlothian Council, and that’s a duty the Tweeddale East councillor would be only too happy to undertake.

“Although this junction is in Midlothian, it is predominantly used by residents of the Borders,” she said.

“It is therefore only right that we work together on this.

“I really hope that the other Tweeddale councillors can support Eric’s motion in council. It would certainly be very strange if they don’t.”