The Pathhead Road Safety Action Group has been formed by a number of local residents in Pathhead who are concerned about the increased flow and speed of traffic (particularly heavy Lorries and buses) that seem to be using the Main Street in the village as “a drive through by-pass”.
It would appear that despite traffic calming measures already in place many drivers are travelling through the village in excess of the maximum speed of 30mph. The A68 trunk road through Pathhead has always been a busy thoroughfare, however since the new Dalkeith By-pass was opened in 2008 there appears to have been a significant increase in the volume of traffic.
The increase in traffic flow and excessive speeds are putting residents of the village at risk i.e. the elderly and the young. The lay-out of the village is such that the main area of population is at the opposite side of the main street to the shops, bank and post office etc.; the result being that residents, particularly the vulnerable are finding it increasingly difficult to negotiate this very busy trunk road.
There is also some concern around polution in the village. The recent installation of a gas infrastructure into the villagewas intended to reduce the evidenced high level of pollution within Pathhead (this due to large number of open fires and solid fuels being used); Increased pollution from traffic could work against this.
The Action Group has made approaches to the Police through their Community Team, and more recently the Group led by local residents Helen Forbes and Cathy MacAndrew organised a petition to gather support for local concerns. Over a short two week period 617 signatures were gathered indicating the level of concern by the community as a whole.
Approaches have also been made to Bear Scotland, to Tynewater Community Council and to local Councillor Katie Moffat, who have all been very supportive, as has local MSP Colin Beattie. It should be noted that Bear Scotland have undertaken to analyse traffic flow figures since the opening of the new Dalkeith by-pass and identify whether there has indeed been a significant increase in traffic flows over this period.
While the improvements to Dalkeith and the A68 at Soutra/Oxton (see right) have benefited nearby areas, they have not necessarily been to the benefit of Pathhead where the village now appears to be suffering from the legacy of these improvements elsewhere. The options available in relation to a trunk road may be limited; but the Action group is asking officials to look into this matter and advise on what can be done to alleviate the current situation