The Cuckoo is no longer publishing but you can continue to enjoy our old articles.
© Kyoshi Masamune - Penicuik from the Pentlands

The Long Read: Midlothian 2020

[infobox]Article updated 23 August 2016[/infobox]

“Environmental improvements alone will not be sufficient to overcome the competition from Straiton and elsewhere”, section 8.3.38 Midlothian Local Development Plan 2015.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet has approved the latest Midlothian Local Development Plan (LDP), expressing their vision for the county in the next five years and beyond. Unlike previous masterplans, this one is focused heavily on creating a “Midlothian Gateway”, or to you and I, a shopping and leisure development to rival the likes of Fort Kinnaird. If you are looking for a focus on regenerating town centres you may be left a little disappointed. In this one off analysis of the forthcoming LDP, we will take a journey through the planned housing, educational and infrastructural changes. From the new double size Roslin, to the A701 bypass and the new Penicuik High School, everything you need to know now that the Scottish Government have been asked to ratify the plan.


Every five years, Midlothian Council are obligated to set forth their plans for development within the county. Within the report they will allocate land to housing, promise to build new infrastructure, whilst additionally throwing in a smattering of economical, educational and policy changes. The last report was published in 2008 and since then a wider report into the east of Scotland has also been compiled, duly named the SES (South East Scotland) Plan. This local plan therefore echoes many of the requirements set in the SES Plan but goes into greater detail on how these requirements will be met. A draft main issues report was consulted on last year and land owners were given the chance to submit their land for consideration for housing allocation. The public were also given the chance to comment on the plans, which included the controversial A701 realignment. Taking into consideration this feedback, the council have now compiled a draft plan. Councillors approved this plan late 2014, with a few amendments. It went to public consultation in 2015 and was approved with no major changes in June 2016. The Scottish Government must now rubber-stamp the proposals. In the meantime it is available to view and download here.

The Contents

It is a substantial report, comprised of 172 pages of aspirations. From the outset this is a document with a clear plan, to deliver a realigned A701 and thus open up greenbelt land to developers to create a growth generating “Midlothian Gateway”. The jury is still out on whether or not the report’s headline act is worthy of applause, but please do share your views below once we’ve explained the plans in depth. For ease, the rest of this article will be broken into three parts. First, the major housing and commercial developments will be analysed. This includes (click to go to) West Straiton, the A701 corridor and finally, Penicuik. Next is the education report, which will be divided into primary and secondary schooling. To finish, the major infrastructure projects will be explored: the A701 bypass, the A702/Mauricewood Road roundabout, the north Penicuik link road and the Edinburgh Orbital Bus Route.

Housing & Other Developments

West Straiton

West Straiton? What is West Straiton? I’m glad you asked. West Straiton is that undulating land you can see to the west of the Straiton Park and Ride. Previously home to quarries and mines, the land has been viewed as too unstable to build on and thus it has been left as part of Edinburgh’s vast greenbelt. However with ambitious plans for thousands of new homes throughout the A701 corridor, Midlothian Council believes the time has come to create an A701 bypass. The A701 bypass itself is nothing new. The idea for it has been circulating since the late twentieth century. It is important to note though that it has never got to this stage in planning. Now, it is proposed that it is formally approved, at least in terms of policy, with compulsory purchase orders being planned to pave the way for the route. Delivery is many years away however, as you will see later on. This means that there will need to be concrete plans for development around the route before it can raise the capital required to be constructed. Developers throughout the rest of the A701 corridor as far south as Penicuik will also need to put in a bob or two to fund the delivery, which could be off-putting, especially for those wishing to develop in the far south of Penicuik.

The new realigned A701 will likely follow the green route you can see on the map below. However there are a further two possible routes not on the map. The original blue route is deemed too costly to build,  due to the presence of mine workings ,and will not be chosen for further studies. It also has limited land to the east of it on which developers could build, scuppering any chance of building the “Midlothian Gateway” retail and leisure park. The green route is therefore preferable, running from an altered junction on the A720 to the A720 just west of Easter Bush. Thick woodland will flank the route to the west, with strict landscaping rules being drawn up to keep the development land green, including “tree lined avenues”. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a roof terrace or two either, considering the site is highly visible from the bypass. Landowners Morton Assets have already revealed their plans for 100,000 sq.ft of offices on the site, creating a “Yours Business Park”. Those of course will still have to face planners. there is now question mark of the development by Morston Assets, after the company entered administration. KPMG say it is too early to say what will happen to their assets. Other developments planned include a hotel on the current site of the Park and Ride. A new facility would be created several hundred metres from the current site. Midlothian Council are to also actively campaign for a Cinema chain to develop on the land, viewed as an accompaniment to the planned film studio. Leader of the council Owen Thompson did tease our readers on Facebook by saying “A cinema? Watch this space”. Further shops and restaurants will also likely join the development. Housing is not included at this stage however could be included in the next plan. On that matter, the future of the current caravan site, located off the A701, is not mentioned in the document.

Route options © Midlothian Council
Route options © Midlothian Council

What will become of the current A701? It is to become the route for public transport, cyclists and pedestrians. The council say it would be landscaped to accommodate such. Naturally cars would also still travel on it, but unless you live in Bilston or Loanhead, you would be more likely to utilise the bypass.

The A701 Corridor

First, a definition. The A701 corridor, in the sense of the article, is defined as being Loanhead, Bilston and Roslin.

Unlike the new Straiton development, there a few noteworthy changes for the A701 corridor. In Loanhead, housing is not an important feature, at least not in this iteration of the plan. There are currently several committed development sites, like Ashgrove, which is due to be a Taylor Wimpey development. This will deliver 170 houses before 2024. The 2015 plan is proposing a new allocation off Edgefield Road. This is council owned and will likely become a 25 property social housing development. Another site noted is Burghlee, although it is not allocated to housing in this plan. However, should a developer come along who is willing to build the 175 houses possible, then the council may be minded-to-grant. Apart from that, this development plan pays little more attention to Loanhead. They will of course be getting a new Paradykes Primary School (previously announced). By moving the school to beside the leisure centre, a new community mixed use building will be created.

Down the road and into Bilston we see more housing allocations. The land currently occupied by Pentland Plants has been allocated to 75 properties. The business’ intentions are unknown. Taylor Wimpey are already building their “Cameron Gardens” development and this looks like it could be extended by an additional 350 homes, however the exact positioning of the new A701 bypass will effect how many can be built within the new greenbelt boundary. Due to these additional dwellings, Bilston has received its own new primary school (opened August 2016). Further land has been allocated to develop the Bush science park, 14.5 hectares to be exact. Midlothian Council are keen to make this site into a world class development, and with the University of Edinburgh continuing to construct class-leading facilities, their vision can easily come to fruition. Bilston may also get a health centre, although this is mentioned only briefly.

To the east, Roslin. Roslin is unique in Midlothian due to it being protected by a conservation order. Therefore any new housing must be of a higher quality than the average new build. Locally sourced materials must be used to make sure the development does not alter the visual appeal of the current village. It already has committed development land to the south west. Fifty houses can be built to the west of the health centre. It is believed the developer of this could be close to submitting an application, after purchasing the site last year from the University. New allocations include the former Roslin Institute site. This can accommodate 250 homes and must be designed to be high quality, with avenue trees etc. Another site, deemed the Roslin expansion, rather misleadingly considering the others are also expansions, can accommodate 260 dwellings. Just over one hundred of these could be delivered by 2024. Roslin will also benefit from an expansion of their Pavilion. A Roslin Glen tourist information centre is also planned to capture the history of the village. A new primary school is under construction.

That’s about it for the A701 corridor, except the major development we didn’t mention. Surprisingly Midlothian Council propose creating an A701 corridor secondary school to replace Beeslack. The “relocated Beeslack” would be located somewhere in the Bilston region, or as part of West Straiton. A feasibility study will be undertaken to investigate where the new school could be sited. It would serve Roslin, Bilston and Loanhead, though it’s still unknown whether the catchment areas would be altered to include the entirety of Loanhead. Skip ahead to the education section to read more on this.


Finally, we are on to our home town. Surprisingly, or maybe not, there is little to add that hasn’t already been planned. The latest development plan notes that there is disappointment that the north west Penicuik developments have not yet come to fruition. Some of these allocated sites have had minded-to-grant permission since 2003 but due to the economic downturn etc. they haven’t materialised. However now in 2014, there is movement. Slow, tedious movement, but movement none the less. The plan has revealed the root of the problems though. It cites the planned new roundabout on the A702 as being the major sticking point. In short, there seems to have been a disagreement as to who would pay for the upgrade. On Christmas Eve 2015, Taylor Wimpey agreed to fund the roundabout’s construction, though they will attempt to claw back some funds from other developers.

Due to the lack of ongoing work, Midlothian Council has not allocated any further sites in the north west to housing. The University of Edinburgh did want to offload a site capable of taking six hundred dwellings but this has been knocked back, at least for the next five years anyway. Before moving onto the major local development at Auchendinny, it is important to note the smaller allocations in the town. A site off Eastfield Farm Road has been allocated for construction of ten social houses. Furthermore a site at Kirkhill will accommodate twenty homes. The latter is likely subject to objections due to the proposals to construct on the currently utilised tennis courts. A campaign group has been established to fight this proposal. Moving on, and 25 homes could be built at Belwood Crescent, although this development is not safeguarded by the plan due to it not currently being available. Should it become available within the plan period, it may be built on, subject to planning application of course. Another site not included due to unavailability is Pomathorn Mill. The former paper-making building could become up to fifty homes should the businesses using it vacate. The developer will have to develop a high quality scheme as it is visible to the surrounding region. CALA Homes are believed to be actively pursuing this site. Finally, the now defunct Wellington School could be turned into fifty to sixty dwellings, although the developer must agree to road improvements to proceed. All of these developments would require additional primary school accommodation, with planned extensions to Cuiken, Cornbank and Mauricewood schools.

Into Auchendinny, and Miller Homes wishes to add a further 350 homes. Their wish has been granted by the council with the allocation of the land to the north and east of the new Glencorse Centre. It is believed that they could construct 260 of these residences by 2024. Due to the size of the development a new primary school will be required. The Auchendinny Primary School will be developer funded and shall replace the axed Glencorse Primary School, which is to close as soon as the Auchendinny school is operational. The image below shows an artist’s visualisation of the site:

© Miller Homes - Artist's Visualisation
© Miller Homes – Artist’s Visualisation

That’s it for housing, so here’s a depressing line in the report: “Environmental improvements alone will not be sufficient to overcome the competition from Straiton and elsewhere”. Yes, we are onto Penicuik’s town centre. Midlothian Council acknowledge in the report that there is desire for improvement and they promise to support business encouraging efforts, like those of the Business Improvement District, Penicuik First. They also pledge support to a shopfront improvement scheme. However as the town centre is not owned by the council, there is little they can do to significantly alter the current retail proposition. A heritage centre does get a mention in the development plan, along with the need for parking improvements.


“The current and planned level of housing in the Penicuik area is insufficient to sustain two secondary schools each with a minimum pupil roll of 750 pupils.”

The above quote is one which summarises Midlothian’s new education report. It is very much a story of ‘out with the old and in with the new’, with plans for six new schools and three renovations in total. Whilst we’ve come to expect the odd surprise in documents such like this, 2015’s master plan offers a true overhaul of the school estate.

Primary Schooling

In 2015, Midlothian Council had three new “A701 corridor” Primary Schools in planning: a new Bilston Primary School and replacements to Paradykes and Roslin Primary Schools. The new Bilston Primary School opened to pupils in August 2016. Paradykes is set to move to beside Loanhead Leisure Centre, where a new mixed use facility will be created. The old land will likely be used for housing. Roslin’s Primary School will also be replaced and should be operational by August 2017. Both Paradykes and Roslin’s new primary schools are under construction. Regardless, that was a prerequisite to what is actually in the report.

Glencorse Primary is to be closed. After many years of uncertainty, the allocation of new housing land at Auchendinny will lead to the eventual closure of Glencorse Primary School. With a roll of 29 pupils in 2015, but a capacity of 100, the school has lacked financial viability for many years. It is proposed that Miller Homes, who plan to construct 350 homes north of the Glencorse Centre, will fund, or partially fund, a new Auchendinny Primary School to serve the village and Milton Bridge. Pupils, who currently attend Glencorse, will likely be given the choice on whether to attend the new school or Mauricewood Primary School, which will be extended courtesy of Taylor Wimpey.  It should be noted that Miller must still obtain permission for their development, though it is believed to be in a late stage of planning. Should the local development plan be approved unchanged by the government, Miller could submit immediately afterwards and aim for a late 2017 commencement of construction. They plan to have 260 properties standing by 2024, so this timescale seems most likely.

In summary, plans include: three replacement schools at Bilston, Roslin and Paradykes, one completely new school at Auchendinny, one closure at Glencorse and three extensions at Mauricewood, Cornbank and Cuiken. Funding by the Scottish Government’s “Schools for the Future” programme will go to Bilston, Roslin and Paradykes, whilst developers’ contributions will part or wholly fund a new Auchendinny school along with extensions at Mauricewood, Cuiken and Cornbank.

Secondary Schooling

The population in the region is ageing, thus the school rolls are falling. This is creating a substantial problem in Penicuik, due to the pace of development not matching the time taken for the rolls to fall. Both Beeslack CHS and Penicuik High School are operating below capacity, with Penicuik High School at a critical low point. Beeslack, which is associated with Mauricewood, Glencorse and Roslin Primaries, also serves as an overflow to Loanhead. It has a capacity of 860 but is operating, this year, with 739 pupils, equating to 85.9% occupancy. This occupancy is greater than that of Dalkeith and Newbattle High Schools, although their rolls are forecast to hold steady or rise. Penicuik High School is a different can of worms, with the lowest occupancy of all the non-denominational secondary schools in Midlothian, substantially so. The building has a capacity of 945 but is operating with only 565 pupils, equating to 59.8% occupancy.

Newly calculated projections of the school rolls, should nothing change, were published as part of the report. Beeslack is forecast to continue its decline, reaching a critical low of approximately 500 pupils in 2025 before starting to gain pupils again. Penicuik High’s roll is forecast to continue upwards from 2015 to 700 pupils before plateauing thereabouts for roughly ten years. The report says (section 5.2, page 7):

The planned and proposed housing development will bring more pupils into the area but what is planned will not be enough to sustain two secondary schools with the desirable level of pupils. In the meantime the pupil roll across both schools will continue to fall and we estimate that it will take until 2030 to begin to see any significant increase in the number of secondary pupils in the Penicuik area.

As the paragraph states above, two secondary schools are no longer sustainable in the town. This “desirable level of pupils” is a new quantifiable policy created by the council. For a secondary school to be fully successful, Midlothian believes that it must be served by at least 6,000 homes, or about 750 students. Including current, planned and proposed housing stock, both schools will still operate below this critical level. Beeslack would be associated to 5,672 homes and Penicuik High to 5,840. It is for that reason, four options are to be considered for the future of the Midlothian’s secondary schooling. These are detailed below:

  • Option 1 – Maintain six secondary schools in the county (including New Shawfair) – No change to schooling in Penicuik
  • Option 2 – Reduce estate to five schools (inc. New Shawfair) – Create single site Penicuik High School which would serve every primary school in Penicuik, Roslin, Bilston and Loanhead.
  • Option 3 – Maintain six secondary schools (inc. New Shawfair) – Create a new Penicuik High School to serve primary schools in Penicuik, but relocate Beeslack to serve Bilston, Roslin and Loanhead.
  • Option 4 – Increase estate to seven schools (inc. New Shawfair and New Gorebridge) – Same plans for Penicuik as per Option 3 with addition of a school at Gorebridge.

Option one seems unlikely due to the falling rolls. It would require a county wide catchment review to be undertaken frequently to best maximise the schooling estate. Should funding from the government not succeed, this would be the only option. Option two would create a so called “Super School” in Penicuik. This could have a roll near 1800 come 2040, a figure deemed unsustainable by many councils. A single site would be selected within Penicuik, most likely the vacant land at Beeslack or the playing fields at Penicuik High School. The report states that an alternative site has not yet been found in Penicuik. Option three is a new one, and a surprising one too. This option would replace the ageing Penicuik High School, rated a ‘C’ on the building condition scale, but also create a new secondary school somewhere up the A701. The “relocated Beeslack” could be located in the Bush Science Park or the new West Straiton development, although a study will investigate available sites further. It would serve Loanhead, Bilston and Roslin, which alone are set to generate enough pupils to run a successful secondary school (6,159 houses). For option three, funding would need to be sought for two secondary schools at once, totalling approximately £40m. A report from a council seminar on 11 November 2014 remarks:

Fundamental assumption in this option [#3] was that Beeslack would be relocated. In the context of SFT [Schools for the future] funding, it was thought unlikely that both Penicuik and Beeslack schools would be successful in the same round of SFT funding. With that in mind, and given the respective condition ratings for both schools (Penicuik was a C condition rating and Beeslack a B), it was thought likely that SFT would prioritise investment in Penicuik. However, the relocation of Beeslack at the earliest possible date would be key to realigning the catchment areas.

So, if option three was to emerge as the preferred option, Beeslack would likely continue to operate until about 2025, whilst Penicuik High could move in to their new school by 2020. Option two would prove quickest to implement. Should a funding application be granted in the next 12 months, construction could get underway in 2018, for an August 2021 opening date. This means that a pupil starting in first year in 2016 could end their school career in a new building.

A £10,000 feasibility study is to be undertaken to further investigate the options. This will probably lead to a public consultation sometime in 2016. As of August 23, it is still forthcoming. If you are interested in the secondary school situation, click here to read our analysis of the possible secondary school site.


The A701 Bypass

18:2 Infrastructure

Since the creation of Midlothian Council, there have been talks to create an A701 bypass. Councillors would suggest the development, the public would hold meetings, the media would get into a frenzy and … nothing would happen. Why should it be any different this time? There is no reason to suggest it will be any different, in fact the main land owner, who would subsidise the road’s construction, is in administration. That aside, the current councillors are keen to get policy support for the bypass. To do this, the road is included within the Local Development Plan (LDP) and the associated “Action Plan”. Controversially, it comes with the allocation of one hundred hectares of greenbelt land to commercial development, a move the council says is necessary to fund the road. Here are the important details:

  • Cost – Ranging from £7.18m to £13.5m – dependent on the exact route and whether the road would be a single or dual carriageway
  • Length – 2.8km to 3km
  • Funding – Mainly from developer contributions from those building throughout the A701 corridor (as far south as Penicuik). Small council contribution and government funding possible.
  • Construction impact – Limited impact to commuters initially, however there will be disruption when constructing the end roundabouts. The community of Damhead could face years of disruption depending on the chosen route.
  • Benefits – Technically it should remove the pressure on the current A701 and the A702, however the road is to inspire growth in the region. With additional houses, come additional commuters and as such the route could become saturated. Careful planning and public transport incentives would be required to make sure this does not happen. Furthermore, the City Bypass is operating well over capacity (130%). Until this is resolved, the connecting roads will remain congested.
  • Impacts – Loss of greenbelt land, increased pollution from additional car journeys and the potential distruction of known wildlife habitats.
  • Deliverability – The road could be operational by early next decade.

The A701 bypass is very much a work in progress and the exact route is not yet known. Four options exist for the routing, along with a further four depending on whether the road would be a single or dual carriageway. The two more expensive options (£13m+) give more land to the east for development, but would be more difficult to construct, thus delaying the opening date. It should be noted that developers behind film studio proposals at Straiton, say their plans would be “fatally damaged” by rerouting of the A701 through their site. Only one option proposes not to do this but it is not viewed favourably by the council. A willingness for development is required to get the project off the ground but an over-reliance on developers could prove troublesome.

A702/Mauricewood Road Roundabout

18:2 Infrastructure Penicuik

This is the intervention the region will see first. The proposal is to upgrade the A702/Mauricewood Road T-Junction to a major three-arm roundabout. To do this, the junction will be moved north east slightly, changing the routing of Mauricewood Road. A substantial roundabout will then be constructed over the current route of the A702, creating a new junction. Improvement works will continue down Mauricewood and Belwood Roads, widening the carriageway and adding full length pavements. At the bottom of Mauricewood Road, traffic signals will be added. Details:

  • Cost – £4.7m
  • Size – The roundabout will be a comparable size to those on the A702 at Lothianburn. Street lighting will be required.
  • Funding – Taylor Wimpey will fund the upgrades.
  • Construction Impact – There will be many months of disruption. Developers could create a relief road to allow the A702 to remain open during the entire build, however, should they not do this, the positioning could result in complete closure of the A702 for at least part of the works.
  • Benefits – The arrangement may make it easier for traffic to leave the Mauricewood Road junction more regularly. A roundabout should reduce the number of road traffic accidents.
  • Impacts – HGVs could struggle on the approach during wintry conditions. There will be a high impact during construction.
  • Deliverability – Under construction. End of 2017.

North Penicuik Link Road

This development will be a relief road between Mauricewood Road and Rullion Road, serving the new housing development to be constructed by a consortium of Cala Homes and Avant Homes. It will run between the Mauricewood Steadings and just south of Deanburn. Technically it will be a residential road, so speed calming measures like speed humps will be likely and roundabouts and access points to “home zones” could also feature. Details:

  • Cost – £1.5m to £3m
  • Length – About 1km
  • Funding – Developer only
  • Construction Impact – Little to none. The road would be built before housing construction commences and would be connected to the current roads by t-junction. Some disruption is possible during the connection phases.
  • Benefits – Those who live on Rullion Road or in the Cornbank/Cuiken areas of town will notice a marked reduction in journey times.
  • Impact – The new road could inspire additional journeys via the A702. Mauricewood Road would see an increase in peak hour traffic.
  • Deliverability – It depends on when a planning application is submitted on behalf of the housing consortium. This was meant to happen at the end of 2014 but has been delayed until Autumn 2016. If the application process isn’t as stinted as Greenlaw Mill, construction could start by mid 2017. The road would, therefore, be operational by early 2018.

Edinburgh Orbital Bus Route & Lothianburn Park and Ride

18:2 Infrastructure EOB

Much like the A701 bypass, the Edinburgh Orbital Bus Route (EOBR) has been discussed for many years now. According to feasibility studies undertaken by SESTrans back in 2009, the key to delivering the project was to have a full length hard-shoulder on the A720 City Bypass. This would allow an express bus to run along the side of the trunk road without affecting the other traffic. The buses would then leave the bypass, using their own segregated busways to enter Park and Rides. One Park and Ride is yet to be built, the Lothianburn Park and Ride. This would be located on land north of the Esso petrol filling station. A road would then be built between the Straiton and Lothianburn sites, allowing buses to travel between the two in just under two minutes. Compare this to the car travellers’ fifteen minutes at peak times and you can see why the EOBR would be popular. Plans are at a preliminary stage, however they go as far to say that buses would run between Newbridge and Queen Margaret University every five minutes. Notable stopping points include the ERI and Edinburgh Airport. The feasibility studies are linked in the sources section at the end of this article should you wish to study the proposals further. Details:

  • Cost – £10m+ – Segregated busways (blue route on map) and other supporting infrastructure would be expensive. Plans also say modified train-buses would be used. These ‘bendy’ buses would cost several hundred thousand each. Approximately twenty buses would be needed, so there would be substantial initial outlay.
  • Length – About 20 miles – Exact routing to be agreed on
  • Funding – West Lothian, Midlothian, East Lothian and Edinburgh councils would contribute along with a small government fund. Developers in south Edinburgh may contribute and those at Shawfair in Midlothian.
  • Construction Impact – It’s hard to say at the moment due to the lack of recent plans, the most recent were published in 2010, but disruption would be likely, especially in the east of Edinburgh. Upgrading of the city bypass’ hard shoulders could also cause delays, though work should be undertaken overnight.
  • Benefits – Travellers from Midlothian would be able to reach the west of Edinburgh in just one bus journey. This would likely be faster than taking the car, depending on the time of day. The bus could provide onward connections to several rail routes at Edinburgh Park and Shawfair.
  • Impact – Non-segregated busways could utilise current private transport lanes. This would likely lead to further congestion. Segregated busways will use greenbelt land and would have an environmental impact.
  • Deliverability – A detailed study needs undertaken, then funding needs sought, construction undertaken and a service provider secured. This all takes time and so the route will probably not be operational until early next decade. Development Plans for the councils state that the route should be delivered by 2030.

Other Infrastructure Projects to Note

A design process is ongoing to ascertain what the future Sheriffhall roundabout will look like. Options include two smaller separate roundabouts, a bypass overfly and a roundabout overfly. This project is high impact and any construction would cause months of disruption. However traffic should flow better along the A720 once operational. Finally we must note the reinstatement of Penicuik’s heavy railway line. Two studies have been undertaken for this. It is believed they have been taken up to the route selection point, so Midlothian Council should have a final route along with the associated costings. The outcome of these reports was due to be reported to the cabinet but has not yet been released, despite being completed in June last year. Our initial Freedom of Information submission to Midlothian Council was refused on the grounds they did not own the reports. Earlier in 2016, we obtained the reports and published them on this website for you to read. It is unlikely the route could be operational until 2030 and it would probably have to extend to Peebles to be profitable. An extension to the Borders Railway may be considered for ease.

Conclusion & Final Analysis

Midlothian is set to expand rapidly within the next fifteen years and it is clear it needs a solid infrastructure to support it. Be this a strong network of schools or a strong road network, there must be plans to mitigate the extreme growth. Whether the residents like it or not, Midlothian is changing. By 2030 it will be unrecognisable, should the plans materialise. One thing is for sure, there is no way back from what is to come.


For your reference, here are the sources for the information in this article:

A701 Bypass:

A702/Mauricewood Road Bypass:

Edinburgh Orbital Bus Route & Lothianburn Park and Ride

Sheriffhall Roundabout:

What do you think? Let us know your view below or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.