Local campaigners say that despite over 400 objections Ambassador Homes will be permitted to build a new road into the royal burgh of South Queensferry, felling mature trees and routing traffic along National Cycle Routes 1 and 76 towards local primary and secondary schools.

These routes will, they say, encroach on the historic town centre (where a temporary one way system has recently been introduced under Spaces for People measures) and will pass through existing low traffic neighbourhoods.

This new route will be permitted although there is an existing road at Ferrymuir Gait. Transport Scotland have their administration offices at the Forth Road Bridge in a modern building where traffic information and updates are coordinated. The government body has, according to campaigners, said they will not allow the use of the existing road (which links directly to the roundabout on the A904) except for emergency vehicles.

Ambassador Homes are building new homes at Ferrymuir Gait with views over the Forth Road Bridge and the River Forth on a site very close to the viewing platform. Previously there was a motel on the site but it was demolished after closing in 2004.

The Queensferry and District Community Council objected to a planning application in 2014, saying then that the area needs a mixed use site with some retail units included, but permission was granted by The City of Edinburgh Council for the residential development where 124 new homes will now be routed away from direct access to the trunk road network.

The petition which you will find here urges people to sign up to say no to new roads into South Queensferry.

The core statement reads:

“KEEP QUEENSFERRY LIVEABLE, we demand safe walking, wheeling and cycling conditions by not encouraging more driving into the town. Keep existing low traffic neighbourhoods and no new roads for motor vehicles. We request more active travel routes and opportunities for active travel while vehicle access is maintained on existing roads only.”

The petitioners say that Edinburgh Council identified high traffic in the town as an issue during recent research on placemaking in South Queensferry but appear to be ignoring the results of that research. They also claim that the developer map which is on display at the marketing booth makes no reference to the fact Transport Scotland have denied use of Ferrymuir Gait so people will be buying these houses without realising they have a half mile detour every single journey.

Some quotes from those who have already signed the petition:

  • Catherine Moffat said: “I live in SQ, roads traffic is already increasing making it more dangerous for children and adults. There are no pedestrian crossing either and traffic definitely doesnt adhere to 20mph limit just now. Environmentally, not only have these new houses taken over fields and wildlife habitats already but increased air pollution with the construction traffic etc.”
  • Marie Littlejohn said: “I’m signing because I’m so disappointed and annoyed that a strip of land in the title deeds of some neighbours was removed from them during the digitisation of Land Registry records without their knowledge and subsequently reallocated to a private company thus allowing the sale of the whole area of land for housing with access via the strip of land onto roads that aren’t suitable for increased volume of traffic.”

This last comment refers to the Lands tribunal decision which locals lost, despite crowdfunding £9,000 to pay for legal fees. The land in question was, according to campaigners, wrongly mapped when the Land Register of Scotland was digitised. Residents were not informed and now any appeal could cost local residents both legal costs and potential damages for delay to the construction of the new development.

Cllr Norman Work said: “I have every sympathy with the residents who wanted access via Ferrymuir Gait when the planning application was considered. I agree with them and made presentations at the time but unfortunately despite the objections Planning was approved in 2015 for access via the other roads through the estate.”

Lothians MSP Foysol Choudhury visited the site. He said:“ I fully support the residents of South Queensferry in proposing the vehicle access to the Ferrymuir Gait  Housing Development should be by Ferrymuir Gait road. This route is publicly accessible for vehicles. The proposed vehicle route to the site goes through is a residential area which has low emissions, a National Cycle Route, Safe Route to Schools, next to a children’s play park and will fell a number of mature trees.

“The Scottish Government Minister must intervene, as Transport Scotland with their cavalier attitude are not complying with Scottish Government policies on promoting active travel and mitigating harmful vehicle emissions in a residential area.”

The four bedroom homes are selling at the Forthview Development for prices in excess of £418,000.

We contacted Transport Scotland and Ambassador Homes for comment.