Missing Links: Edinburgh Road (Tinwald and Amisfield)

This is the latest in our series of detailed ‘missing links’ posts as we explore the gaps in the active travel network in and around Dumfries. Coming in no particular order (as we manage to write them up) we continue with the Edinburgh Road which is a barrier to accessing Dumfries from Amisfield, Tinwald and Collin by bike. Thanks to Steve Cussell for writing this one up.

Edinburgh Road from the junction with Quarry Road at Locharbriggs to Amisfield along the A701 is not a safe route for cyclists. It’s a heavily congested road, with a mixture of traffic including fully laden quarry vehicles. Sections of it are narrow and also have speed limits from 30 mph up to 50 and 60 mph in places. The road is also hemmed in by solid banks on either side, giving the road a slightly claustrophobic feeling to vulnerable road users.

Residents of Amisfield and Tinwald would benefit from a dedicated safe cycle route, thus promoting healthier transport options and reducing pollution along the route into Dumfries.

Amisfield is approximately 1.5 miles north of Locharbriggs, and the northern edge of Dumfries along the A701 (Edinburgh Road). It can be accessed along the A701, which would be extremely dangerous or using the back lanes of Kirk Brae and Kirk Bank from Jericho Bridge travelling via Tinwald and down the hill to Amisfield.

Map showing Amisfield and Tinwald
Tinwald and Amisfield – both easy cycling distance to Dumfries, but the short stretch of the A701 forms a huge barrier

Although currently the safest option for cyclists is to use these back lanes, the most dangerous part of the route is where it meets the A701 at both the Amisfield and Jericho Bridge junctions. At the Amisfield crossroads, the speed limit is 50 mph, and with no dedicated pathways, crossing can be hazardous. 

Crossing the Edinburgh Road at Amisfield. Although there is the concession of a 50mph speed limit (!) by the village, this is a busy and fast trunk road.

At the Jericho Bridge junction, where the speed limit is 60 mph, turning right into Kirk Brae from the A701 is hazardous, with cyclists risking being vulnerable not only from oncoming traffic, but also very fast traffic accelerating out of the 30 mph limit just as they approach the bend coming up from behind. There is no right “turning lane refuge” here.

Turn off to Tinwald
The turn off to Tinwald (looking back towards Dumfries). To make this turn safely cyclist have to pull out to the right hand side of the lane, amid 60mph traffic

Some solutions are as follows:

·        Adapt existing pavement on west side of A701 from Quarry Road to end of Ford Dealership to be a shared use path.

·        Add a crossing point at Ford Dealership.

·        Adapt pavement on east side of A701 to shared use path.

·        Extend shared path from entrance to Jericho Loch to Jericho Bridge.

·        Also add small right turn refuge for vehicles turning right.

·        Reduce speed limit from 60 to 40 mph on the section of road leading to Jericho Bridge.

Access to Collin:

Once cyclists have left the A701, there is also a safe route along Kirk Brae, and then turning into Low Road which leads to the staggered crossroads at Roucan on the A709, Lochmaben and Lockerbie road. Once through the crossroads, there is a safe route all the way to Collin.

Crossing the A709
The crossing of the A709 – not a pleasant prospect on a 60mph road

Some improvements to the crossroads could include:

·        Better facilities for right turning traffic in both directions.

·        A dedicated crossing point.

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