to the Evening News, 15th March 2006
that Labour's John Home Robertson should condemn the protestors at Dalkeith
Country Park. The real culprits are those government ministers and councillors
who would rip through the heart of one of the best country parks in the
east of Scotland. And all for a bypass that will offer no relief to the
beleaguered citizens of Dalkeith. The once proud Labour movement was founded
on the sacrifice of peaceful protestors. Its modern day proponents seem
more interested in developers and the road transport lobby.
to the campaign, 29th January 2006
Road To Nowhere!
I heard about
the Dalkeith Park bypass plans in the Scotsman today. I realize I don't
have all the details, but from what I can see very little gain in travel
time or reduced distance would come from the bypass. I also suspect the
bypass will not be cost effective as it will disrupt existing consumer
businesses. Has anyone done cost-benefit and travel-time/flow studies
that compare the bypass to extant alternate route improvements?
to me that a better plan would be to identify and improve an extant road
that triangulates to the north of the park through White Craig, and add
traffic flow improvements to the existing route south of the park. The
proposed bypass terminates in a T which means that west-traveling cars
will either have to turn north to the road that crosses the north end
of the park or turn left to reach the traffic circle off the southwestern
corner of the park. Triangulated improved roads to the north and south
of the park will not be significantly longer than the bypass 'doglegs'.
And, as you show in the photo, cars will have to merge into heavy traffic
so the bypass will create one more traffic slowdown point for everyone.
to existing roads should cost the same amount in construction, or less,
and would preserve consumer businesses along the southern route. American
engineers love to brag about how they solve traffic problems with Dalkeith
Park type bypasses, but what they will not tell you is a huge number of
consumer business failures result along discarded routes. Those business
failures, though, reduce competition for new businesses that are planned,
usually in secret, along the new route.
When I see
a plan for a 'road to nowhere' like this, I wonder who is situated to
benefit financially from the new route. Is someone planning to build a
petrol station or shopping centre at that dead-end T? I'd wonder who currently
owns that land and who plans to buy or lease it.
Currie , New York
to the campaign, 29th January 2006
a Solution, But Madness
I have known
and loved Dalkeith Park for many years. It was the place where I used
to go for walks with my then girlfriend about twenty years ago. We still
love walking there and taking in the views, the peace and the natural
beauty of the place. It is an oasis from the humdrum of life and so a
place of retreat and of fond memory. It is also a wonderful resource for
the children who have enjoyed playing there and had their first taste
of nature and woodland life there. It is unique as an area of outstanding
natural beauty in the Edinburgh area, given that it is a large area of
uninterrupted woodland and provides an important corridor for wildlife.
from that, I object to the need for another road on pragmatic grounds.
The existing Edinburgh bypass is a disgrace: it was utterly inadequate
even when it was first opened. It was manifestly obvious that a two lane
dual carriageway would be quite incapable of accommodating the existing
rush hour traffic. As one who uses this road daily, I am used to the delays
of up to 50 minutes which can be expected in each direction when commuting
to and from work. To dump yet more traffic on this road makes no sense.
If the Scottish
Executive were truly concerned to alleviate the existing traffic problems
and the costs in lost man hours and productivity caused thereby, then
their attention should be directed to the inadequacy of the existing Edinburgh
East-West traffic arrangements. The present plan is wholly ill conceived.
To introduce even more traffic onto this strained road system will only
serve to exacerbate the situation. It is not a solution but an acceleration
of the very problem that it sets out to resolve. In short, it is madness.
to the Evening News, 17th December 2005
Will Move Elsewhere
I think it
is appalling that the Scottish Executive are going to build a road through
a park of such beauty as Dalkeith Park without doing a modern study into
the effectiveness of such a step. There are many other measures which
could be taken to improve the centre of Dalkeith without building a road
which will only move the problem elsewhere.
new roads creates more traffic, but still the government forges ahead
with yet more pollution-causing schemes. When will the Executive put its
money where its mouth is and take some real steps towards combating environmental
to the campaign, 8th December 2005
Keep the Park
the Way It Is
I would like
to show my support to save Dalkeith Park, and also to say that what your
organization is doing is great. Please keep up the hard work
and keep the park the way it is. I lived in Dalkeith Palace for
5 months through the Wisconsin in Scotland Program and quickly fell in
love with the whole area. It wouldn't be the same with the sound
of cars and lorries roaring through the trees. I currently live
in the States and would like to voice my support to save the park.
Larson - Wisconsin, USA
to the campaign, 15th November 2005
My wife and
I have been to Scotland many times and we always make it a point to visit
Dalkeith. My wife's father lived in Dalkeith during World War I with his
mother while his father was in the British army. One of our daughters
also lived in Dalkeith for two years while attending the University of
Wisconsin program at Dalkeith House. One of our most pleasant memories
is strolling through the forest in Dalkeith Park. It is almost magical
with the ivy climbing up the tree trunks and walking on the carpet of
To lose this natural sanctuary in the midst of suburban sprawl would truly
be a tragedy. Once gone it can never be recaptured. We realize that we
are not citizens of the U.K. and cannot vote our feelings. However, the
opinion of visitors to your country should be heard. What might happen
in Dalkeith is not unique to your country. We face the same pressures
for change in our country and we have seen the sad results of political
and Charles Gustafson, Minnesota - USA
of View (The Scotsman), 31st October 2005
Than a Decade Old
Those hostile to the
Waverley line's restoration might be interested to know there could be
side-benefits. It appears plans to build a bypass through a country park
in Dalkeith, which is causing angst among local groups, could be obviated
by the railway. In any case, the bypass, which is estimated to cost £40
million, was based on a survey made more than a decade ago.
G Guild, Edinburgh
to the Scottish Executive, 29th October 2005
is seriously dated - Click
here to read the whole letter
As you are
aware, the 1996 Inquiry was into dualling the proposed by-pass, and little
consideration was given to changed circumstances. I am glad to note that
your consultants are currently working on revised estimates, and that
traffic, economic and environmental assessments are being brought up to
date. In view of that, the importance of Dalkeith Estate or Park, retained
as a unity and not divided by a new by-pass, needs to be given full consideration.
Up to date assessments should investigate the growing importance of Dalkeith
Estate for recreation, sport and tourism and for the economic growth and
enhanced community life these activities can generate. The 1992 plan,
although it has passed through the statutory procedures, now needs to
be modified. Even from a traffic management point of view, it is now seriously
Cowan, nr Dalkeith
to the campaign, 14th October 2005
At What Cost
to Our Health?
The Health of this
Scottish Nation is getting a great amount of publicity at present and
we are all being encouraged to take more exercise to prevent heart disease,
diabetes and obesity and exercise (in pleasant surroundings if possible)
is known to help depression. This prescription is applicable to us all,
young and old in particular. Walking, we are told is one of the best forms
of exercise! Here in Dalkeith we are going to lose two great walking and
well used areas shortly, unless we can make our Scottish Members of Parliament
think again! Yes, we may need to reduce the road congestion by rail-links
and the provision of a road to improve the ability of articulated transports
in particular, to pass through our area but does our ability to exercise
locally count for nothing. At what cost to all our HEALTH, IF WE, Dalkeith
people, HAVE NO PLACE TO EXERCISE like Dalkeith Park or the Railway Paths!
Some of us have spent many working hours encouraging people to think about
their lifestyles and helping them through some of the illnesses that result
as a consequence. The Scottish Parliament seems to be taking our local
amenity at no consequence but not thinking through the overall plan. This
Nation does seem to be in great haste to go through land that has a history
going back many centuries as in Dalkeith Park, and once this is gone it
cannot be retrieved.
to the campaign, 26th September 2005
1996 Campaign - Click
here to read the whole letter
I took part
in both the Public Local Inquiries for the A68 Dalkeith North By-Pass
in 1992 and 1996. Scottish Office officials tried to get me to withdraw
my objections to the route or line of the by-pass, but I refused. At the
1996 inquiry, the reporter would not allow any submissions for changing
the route of the by-pass, and he took the view that the line had already
been determined in 1992, and that the sole purpose of the 1996 inquiry
was to decide whether or not to increase the road to a dual carriageway,
for which he duly found favour.
Cowan, nr Dalkeith
to the campaign, 24th September 2005
the A1 is the Issue
Because the A1 is horrendously
busy and dangerous, I avoid using it at all costs. If I am travelling
to the south East of the UK, anywhere from Berwick, Newcastle etc to all
points south, to avoid using the A1, I travel through Dalkeith on A68
onto A697 etc. Only reason I pass through the town is to avoid A1.
It strikes me the issue is the dualling of the A1. Do that and only traffic
through Dalkeith is going to Midlothian or Borders destinations. The volume
of traffic would become more manageable.
of Letter to MSP, 24th September 2005
Data and Decision
are Old Hat!
I am writing to you to express my concern about the building of the above
road through Dalkeith Park. I have had considerable interest in the environment
for many years now, but am a car user myself so understand the necessity
for some road projects. However, having read all of the information about
this road, I am appalled that it has been given the go-ahead based on
such old data. So many things have changed since the project was first
assessed and the need for such a road is highly debatable.
to the campaign, 21st September 2005
I am a resident
of Dalkeith and live between the Old Edinburgh Road and the A68 and so
am very much in favour of a Dalkeith bypass.
on both the current and old Edinburgh roads literally shakes the ground
and the pollution levels are far too high. Last year the Council held
a public meeting to discuss their plan to close the A68 through Dalkeith
town centre and send all of the traffic down the Old Edinburgh Road completely
ignoring the fact that the route passes through the middle of residential
areas and would just make the congestion problem worse.
go ahead for the bypass was announced this year I was pleased that up
to 10,000 vehicles a day would be taken out of the town; maybe now a town
centre can be built. I am however worried about the impact of the bypass
on the Dalkeith Park which is a place we enjoy regularly and one of the
only reasons there is for visiting Dalkeith. A bypass will not take passing
trade away from the town centre as some people claim because there is
no trade in the town centre; even the charity shops are going out of business.
A bypass could however take visitors to the park away from Dalkeith if
the new road creates as much noise and smell as the current one.
to the campaign, 18th September 2005
An Oasis to
bypass makes me angry. OK, I must admit I occasionally use the A68 and
Dalkeith must suffer from the congestion - but have the residents been
asked which they'd prefer? I think the vast majority would prefer to keep
the park intact so at least they have a an oasis to escape to, an area
of peace and quiet away from city life and cars and noise and pollution.
to the campaign, 9th September 2005
I am not
from Dalkeith but have been a regular visitor to Dalkeith Park and I too
am shocked by the Council's decision to place the by-pass there. I'm from
Musselburgh and whilst we are dealing with two different Council's, nothing
can shock me much now when I hear about this. With East Lothian Council
also planning to rip up parts of what is renowned as the oldest Golf Course
in the World, I'm beginning to wonder what the world, or at least this
part of Scotland, is coming to. I don't think that the Councils care much
about our National Heritage, which is quite clear from their proposed
actions. Perhaps it should be put to them that they are trying to encourage
our children to partake in more outdoor activities. How will this be possible
in years to come if they keep eating up our parks etc. to build roads
to the campaign, 7th September 2005
Is It Needed
I'd like to make the
following observations as a "motorist" (yuk!) and enjoyer of
1) No-one as yet understands the impact of Sherrifhall roundabout being
"removed". This will change the entire dynamic of traffic passing
through Dalkeith. It will also impact on the flows along to the A1. Add
the Dalkeith Bypass traffic and the new QMUC campus to that and somewhere
else - probably the Musselburgh A1/A720 junction - will become a hotspot
as will Milton Link even more than it already is! Overall, it is certain
is that there will be increased traffic volumes (which I'm sure you know)
2) It has (I hear) been agreed that a cycleway flyover is to be built
over Sherrifhall roundabout at a cost of £1 million. This will be
in such a position that it will have to be demolished if the roundabout
is removed. Typical.
3) As a trunk route to the North East of England, the A68 is "The
Pretty Way" and traffic increasingly favours the upgraded A1 which
is still hugely below it's maximum capacity. The A68, by my reckoning,
carries local and medium distance traffic - vehicles mostly from this
side of the hills. Anyone using this route knows what they are in for
and rather than being a vital link in the national road network, the effect
of the by-pass is likely to be to encourage more people to live in the
Moorfoots and surrounds and commute to Edinburgh. The upshot is maybe
it's better to live with the traffic for all concerned in the long run
and campaign on a "better the devil you know" basis. A bit of
judicious traffic flow tuning here and there would not go amiss too, I'd
to the campaign, 6th September 2005
and villages such as Pathhead, Lauder, Coldstream etc. could potentally
be negatively impacted by the proposed bypass. Neither of these routes
are suitable for the heavy traffic that uses them. However if the Dalkeith
'bottleneck' is removed it will make these routes more attractive to heavy
vehicles and other travellers, potentially increasing traffic through
small towns and villages that are no more able to support such traffic
than Dalkeith. Personally I do not think the traffic through Dalkeith
warrants a bypass anyway, but all the arguments put forward by those in
favour apply equally, if not more so, to other communities on the route.
it is inevitable that traffic will increase if this bypass is built.
suggestion from a colleague is that a weight restriction could be put
on the A68 to prevent the heaviest traffic from using it, and divert it
to the A1. Also, is it not crazy to put a busy bypass right next to the
new school - noise and pollution issues?
McIntyre , Dalkeith
to the campaign, 3rd September 2005
going to Dalkeith Country Park for years and now I have 2 children. My
daughter is 4 and my son is only 5 months. My daughter loves this park
and we come all the way from Livingston to have a great day out. My son
hasn't had the chance to enjoy it yet, but hopefully he will in the future.....
Please leave the park as it is....
, Diane, Shannon (age 4), Aaron (age 5 months)
to the campaign, 29th August 2005
on Summer Days
I am a resident
of Dalkeith and whilst I agree that something needs to be done to cut
down on the amount of traffic flowing through Dalkeith I am amazed that
the Council would even consider cutting up one of the most beautiful places
we have on our doorsteps. I, and my sister as well as many of our friends,
spent countless days at 'The Dukes Estate' as we called it, during our
long summer holidays when we were at school. The fun we had was endless,
whether it was at the adventure playground or, on one of the many walks
around the estate.
My son is
only 3yrs old but he has already experienced the joy brought from visiting
the estate on many occassions. My nephews and nieces all love to visit
the park as do I. I may be in my thirties but that doesn't stop you having
fun in the adventure playground! And now that I'm a bit older and wiser
I can really appreciate the beauty of this wonderful place.
As I work
in Edinburgh I am fiercely proud that I live in the 'green belt' and wouldn't
change it for the world. So it angers me greatly to think that Midlothian
Council is agreeable to ripping up this wonderful place that holds so
many fantastic childhood memories for me and countless others. Something
needs to be done to stop this bypass going ahead.
to the campaign, 19th August 2005
THEY HAD BETTER
NOT CUT THIS PARK IN HALF, OR ELSE!
That is the
request of my brother and I who go to the park a lot to play with our
friends. My mum has gone to the park since she was a little girl the same
age as we are now, and it would be nice if the park was still there when
we are parents too. I know lots of people from lots of places who come
to the park every year. Please don't destroy our playground!!
and Mark Flynn (aged 8 and 6)
to the campaign, 18th August 2005
A Safe Environment
admit that I am no expert where the siting of a new road is concerned,
but to even think of going through the only 'real' natural amenity which
is available to the residents of Dalkeith and the surrounding areas is
complete madness. Dalkeith Park allows not only the local people but also
the many visitors to Dalkeith to wander around in a safe environment,
children can play safely without the constant threat of traffic and the
wildlife is superb.
Okay so the road will help to ease the volume of traffic, but I suspect
that the majority of local people would rather keep the Park as it is
- not dissected by a road which is mainly for the convenience of through
to the campaign, 18th August 2005
Park is a Treasure
live not more than a few hundred yards from the country park and I am
absolutely sickened by what they are planning to do to this spectacle
of nature. The park means so much to my husband and I. My immediate family
also visit on a regular basis.
We chose our house with the park in mind for our future family to experience
for themselves. My husband and I walk through the park regularly and have
had many experiences with nature including a young deer simply strolling
by us. Something which is very rare.
is a treasure in this area and makes Dalkeith what it is. I hope that
the council and parliament will realise what could be lost for future
generations who will sadly have very few places to visit at the rate at
which the government and councils are destroying our country's landscape.
Cara Millar, Dalkeith
to the Scotsman, 11th August 2005
Apart from those who will be sorry at the loss of passing trade, many
people will, at first, be delighted when the by-pass is built and Dalkeith
town centre can expect to have fewer heavy lorries passing through. People
will be angered, however, when they realise that the route decided 13
years ago at the public local inquiry will divide Dalkeith Park in two.
is vitally important for the Lothians and Edinburgh for wildlife, sport
and tourism. It is also valuable for its Site of Special Scientific Interest,
for forestry and for agriculture. "Experts" will say that it
is worth the damage to these assets to achieve a quieter town centre,
which might be true if there was not a perfectly good alternative route
which avoids the severing of Dalkeith Park entirely.
Executive is now about to build the road in the wrong place. It criticised
my suggestion to connect the A68 bypass to the A1 because it said a junction
situated only half a mile to the east of the city by-pass junction at
Old Craighall would not provide sufficient lead-in.
It is infuriating
that the new junction proposed by the Scottish Office, and now to be built,
is only half a mile to the west of the Old Craighall intersection. This
indicated that what was unacceptable in my suggestion was perfectly all
right for the Scottish Office's Road Department - a case of double standards.
is also probably in the wrong place because the data it is based on was
gathered before the construction of major developments in south-east Edinburgh
and Leith, and assumed that most traffic was going to the north and west.
should revise its plan to take account of these developments.
Nicholas Cowan, Newton House, by Dalkeith, Midlothian
to the campaign, 28th July2005
I walk my
dog regularly in the park and was horrified to hear of the plans for a
bypass through this area. I am not convinced a bypass will bring that
much benefit to Dalkeith and may even remove passing trade.
Williams , Dalkeith