Dear Transport Scotland,
I am writing to you to strongly object to the planned M9 Motorway Junction in Winchburgh. I have 3 main objections to this proposal which I hope to explain throughout this email; 1) The conscious ignorance of the Scottish Government National Transport Strategy and the Winchburgh Development Masterplan 2) The danger to cyclists and pedestrians 3) The Climate Emergency.
As I am sure Transport Scotland are aware the Scottish Government published the National Transport Strategy (NTS2) earlier in 2020. This policy document was a step taken by the government to promote sustainable and green methods of transport over the currently favoured destructive private vehicles. I believe that this proposal to build a new M9 Junction is a direct contradiction to this national strategy especially chapter 4 which states; “Importantly, overarching all the Policies, to address the challenges and achieve the Priorities we will embed the Sustainable Travel Hierarchy in decision making by promoting walking, wheeling, cycling, public transport and shared transport options in preference to single occupancy private car use for the movement of people. We will also promote efficient and sustainable freight transport for the movement of goods, particularly the shift from road to rail”.
Winchburgh is in need of new public transport links, with no train station, bus station or direct bus routes Winchburgh is in a difficult situation in which more and more residents are forced into purchasing or leasing a private vehicle. Even the Winchburgh Development Masterplan which is cited in the Transport Scotland proposal states that public transport should be developed in Winchburgh instead of reliance on private transport. The Winchburgh Railway station is an integral part of the development and should be at the heart of the transport links, however, it would appear that this junction has taken centre stage.
My second point on the danger to cyclists and pedestrians is that which has been put forward by the Spokes Cycle Campaign. The lack of safety provisions for cyclists and pedestrians is an outrage, this junction is designed to encourage high volumes of traffic however with a single shared pathway for cyclists and pedestrians there is simply not enough space for safe passage on these pathways, cycling provisions (such as segregated cycleways) should be included in all new projects. These pathways cross over the slip roads for the M9 with no protection from oncoming vehicles, this puts those crossing the road at a heightened danger as vehicles will be travelling at high speeds. A simple T-junction design for the slip roads would help reduce the speed of vehicles travelling into Winchburgh and protect the lives of pedestrians and cyclists.
The proposed junction would also link to the B8020, this is a crucial minor road for local cyclists who are looking to avoid the busy A904, this proposal will overload the B8020 with traffic and threaten the safety of these cyclists with increase traffic loads on country roads.
It is disappointing that Transport Scotland have failed to mention in their public consultation that the M9 Winchburgh Junction will link up with a new road that leads directly to Broxburn, with increased commutes across the Forth using the Queensferry Crossing we should expect that this hidden road expansion will be used as a shortcut to the crossing. This will increase traffic in Winchburgh and Broxburn which could increase carbon emissions in both towns.
The increase in carbon emissions leads me onto my next point. This junction is yet another step toward climate chaos, in 2017 the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report which stated we must take measures to reduce our carbon emissions before 2030 if we are to have any chance to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Increased car usage in Winchburgh is a highly likely outcome from this proposal, this increase in traffic will cause local carbon emissions to rise this in turn will decrease the air quality of Winchburgh and the surrounding country. By approving this junction, you risk harming the health of local residents.
I wish that this project be cancelled with funding going to public transport put at the heart of the Winchburgh Development or a full redesign of this proposal which includes safe provisions for cyclists and pedestrians, no link to the B8020 or the new south bound road to Bathgate.
Scottish Green Party Candidate for Livingston South By-Election email@example.com