Crash highlights danger at Pencaitland crossroads

The latest road accident to take place at Pencaitland’s now infamous crossroads involved a young man who crashed into the War Memorial at around 8.20am today. Unfortunately it adds to an ever-growing list of incidents which have occurred at the crossroads as you enter Pencaitland from either Haddington or Tranent.

The car ended up backwards on top of Pencaitland War Memorial - Click for further pictures

Despite recent improvements to the tarmac and road markings, these did little to prevent the latest incident. As resident and community councillor Fiona Tennick explains,”I heard an enormous bang outside my house which is on the corner by this crossroads, and knew immediately that there had been yet another accident at this busy junction.”

“Seeing a car up on the War Memorial, I immediately rang 999 and the emergency services were present within minutes. The vehicle had travelled down the B6355 towards the junction, crossed the central reservation, hit the second flower-tub and spun backwards across the junction, riding onto the War Memorial.”

“By some miracle, given the amount of traffic at that time of day, no-one else was hurt, and the young driver was pulled out of the wreckage by drivers on the scene at the time, before being taken off in a blue-flash ambulance.”

To their credit the emergency services were quick to respond to the incident. A police officer in attendance summed up the problem with the view that it was high time the Council looked at placing traffic lights at the crossroads to slow everything down.

As Fiona Tennick sums up, “I have lived at this corner for more than six years and never cease to be amazed by the speed of traffic travelling out of the village and down the hill towards it. I have lost count of the number of bumps at the junction, on several occasions attended by my daughter and son-in-law, both of whom are doctors. We need a set of traffic lights before there is another death here.”

Q. Have you experienced an incident at these crossroads? If you have please tell us about it with a comment below.

378 thoughts on “Crash highlights danger at Pencaitland crossroads

  1. Ralph Averbuch


    I’m sure your sentiments are well-meant. However, in this particular location incidents are all too common.

    Unfortunately another one happened this very evening, just before 7pm and, this time, it involved two cars with older, supposedly more experienced, drivers.

    It seems no one has been hurt, though I believe one car is no longer road-worthy.


  2. joe

    As I have previously noted the junction works fine. Traffic lights would cause congestion. This is not needed. I do agree that visibility is restricted so the quick, inexpensive way to solve the problem would be to cut back the hedges. This would solve at least one of the problems.

    I have had much experience dealing with the police and yes they would say that lights are the answer. However, this doesn’t mean to say they are correct?

    For a contractor, or for the Council to organise adding lights to the junction would cost a lot of money. I believe the money would be better spent in other areas.

    In my eyes the crash can be put down to speed and inexperience, and yes I agree that it is fortunate that other vehicles were not involved.

    any money spent on this is really a waste when there are definitly better areas where it could be spent, such as solving crime or repairing road surfaces.

  3. Ralph Averbuch

    Hi Wendy

    There are loads of junctions where vision is restricted. However, in this instance the junction is on a section of road where cars are either beginning to accelerate out of Pencaitland or vice versa. That, I suspect, is the key complicating factor.

    If it were simply another urban four-way junction where all the roads were well within a 30MPH zone it might be less prone to accidents.

    Of course that’s just conjecture on my part. I’m no road safety expert.



  4. Wendy Pate

    The junction is dangerous because visibility is restricted in both directions when trying to cross the junction. Coming from Tranent visibility is restricted looking into Pencaitland and coming from East Saltoun visibility is restricted looking up the Haddington road.

  5. Ralph Averbuch

    Hi Joe

    It’s certainly about speed. I suspect the driver just didn’t realise how close to a junction he was when he sped down towards Pencaitland on the Tranent road. Then again, perhaps his brakes were shot or he was inexperienced? There are a lot of variables so it’s hard to pin it down to one likely cause. Fortunately, despite it being a weekday morning, he somehow lost control when no other vehicles were at the junction. That’s really fortunate or something much worse might have occurred.

    The police in attendance did seem to be of the view that lights ought to be considered here. Given they are the first port of call whenever an incident occurs, I’d guess they have good reasons for taking this view?


  6. joe

    The junction itself is fine. It needs to be better sign-posted to ensure motorists know it’s coming up. The car crash was more speed than anything else.

    ELC have also made the mistake of putting a speed warning notice as you enter from the Haddington side inside the 60mph telling you to slow down to 30mph. Who is in charge and who makes these decisions, I don’t know?

    To be honest I think money would be better spent either solving crimes or repaining the roads, rather than complaining about a young driver’s mistake. We are in a recession and any money spent on this would be a waste.


  7. Red Tape

    A roundabout would make them slow down, lights will only make them gun the amber-red sequence

  8. Ralph Averbuch

    Hi Andy

    Other people have suggested a roundabout. Interestingly, at the actual accident the Police that arrived to handle the incident were telling one of the residents that a roundabout was not the solution and that lights would be the better alternative. Of course, any improvement would be very welcome.


  9. Red Tape

    A full size roundabout would be much better, traffic lights would end up with people jumping the orange to red signals at speed, knowing ELC though they’ll end up painting a mini roundabout and nothing will change

  10. Joe Pasquali

    There’s nothing wrong with that junction! Grow a pair and learn how to drive, thats what breaks are for!!!!

  11. Sheila Averbuch

    it’s mad that @elcouncil hasn’t put lights here yet. the Pencaitland Community Council must ensure that all in ELC traffic department are aware of this accident and “count” it toward the mysterious total of accidents a junction must have before it merits a traffic signal.

  12. Ralph Averbuch

    I recall an incident when a car came down to the junction as I was heading out of Pencaitland towards Haddington. I had my two kids in the back who were attending nursery.

    As I left the village this car was braking hard coming down the hill from the Tranent road, but he had underestimated his speed and shot out a good three or four feet into the main road. I had to swerve hard to get around the front of him and, had there been a car coming in to Pencaitland at that time on the Haddington road, we would have ended up with a three car pile up.

    A very close call.

    I think the problem in this instance is that there’s a slight bend in the road as you head down to the junction on the Tranent Road and, particularly if you don’t know the road, a driver can be surprised coming round this slight bend to then see a crossroads immediately after.

    It sounds like this is what happend in today’s incident.


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