THE flow of traffic from the A1 onto the City of Edinburgh Bypass via Old Craighall Roundabout could be radically altered in a bid to ease congestion.

Solutions are being looked at in a bid to improve the flow of traffic heading west along the A1 onto the bypass (A720).

Discussions are still at an early stage but options being considered are the creation of a new sliproad linking the A1 and A720, which would see vehicles bypass Old Craighall Roundabout – or the introduction of traffic lights on the roundabout, similar to those in place at Hermiston Gait, where the M8 meets the A720.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, East Lothian Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said talks would involve East Lothian Council’s transportation and planning departments, as well as Transport Scotland and the landowners.

He preferred the idea of a new sliproad rather than traffic lights but said a solution would have to be found.

Mr Hampshire said: “In terms of the volume of traffic on the A1, it is increasing. It is a problem we have got to deal with.If there is a way of doing it without having to use lights, I think that would be the better option.”

Any preferred plan would need to win the approval of Transport Scotland.

Mr Hampshire added: “It is in the early stages and there is still a lot of work to be done, both by transportation officers and planning to develop that.”

The idea of improving the junction comes as plans to improve nearby Sheriffhall Roundabout, which connects the bypass, A7 and A6106, have been given the go-ahead. This will see the creation of a flyover so traffic heading along the A720 will be able to continue without slowing, while a new roundabout is to be created for drivers exiting onto the A7 or A6106.

A spokesman for Transport Scotland told the Courier: “The A1/A720 junction at Old Craighall has been reviewed as part of our annual Strategic Road Safety Programme for the South East. Additionally, we recognise the long-standing proposals to improve the capacity of the junction.

“We continue to finalise works for 2019 in partnership with our trunk road operating company; however, we are committed to ensuring that any planned works at this location achieve the widest possible benefits to road users. We look forward to informing of planned works in due course.”