Today was a traumatic one on the roads. Having left in plenty time for an appointment in Arbroath I met the tail end of the queue on the A71 to get to Wilkieston. I decided a 3 point turn and an alternative route was probably the best idea and duly made my way to Newbridge. Now at this time it was 9:30 so well after the “rush hour” but still the place was chocca block. Incredibly there are plans to build 3,000 new homes in East Calder so where on earth is the traffic expected to go when there’s gridlock with the current load?
I then decided to divert away from Newbridge and travel through Kirkliston. Schoolboy error as there are 2 sets of temporary lights in this village too. Another delay and onwards to the bridge passing over the bridge over the M90 and seeing traffic tailed back from Barnton almost to the Bridge. Apparently the lights at Maybury were stuck on red and this was the residual tailback. And I thought I had it bad.
Onto the Bridge itself and the 40mph restriction which appears to be in place due to the lay by on the north side being coned off. It’s difficult to see why else it’s there.
Thereafter despite Dundee being almost under water my journey north was unhindered.
Coming home however was a different kettle of fish. A mile from the Bridge the traffic was at a standstill.
Mark Martin on Forth One informed me that it was due to a Police incident. I checked Twitter and discovered that explosives had been found and there was to be a controlled explosion and that the Bridge was to be closed at 6pm. At this point it was 4:30. The news then revealed that instead of 6pm the bridge would close at 4:45pm. In 15 minutes. We slowly snaked our way south and reached the Bridge which at this point was flowing well. I exited it around 4:40 and felt like the last chopper out of Saigon.
Northbound was static and the tailbacks went well past the junction coming from Barnton. These poor souls were going to be delayed for hours.
It shows just how important a part the Bridge plays in our lives and when it’s closed there’s chaos. It also shows that our roads are really choked right now and with vehicle ownership increasing year on year how long before we all grind to a halt?
All this on the same day that the City of Edinburgh Council announce an increase in parking charges for the City centre has convinced me that I’ll be shopping online in future and ensuring that appointments with customers happen later in the day.
Still the day wasn’t a complete write off as I discovered that FIFA had suspended Sepp Blatter for 90 days. Hopefully 90 days becomes for ever and lots of it is spent in a damp cell