The following deputation was presented to the Council’s Transport & Environment Committee on 14 October following discussions with local residents and with NTBCC members, along with several other deputations from a wide range of community groups in relation to Agenda Item 7.1 ‘Active Travel Measures – Travelling Safely Update’ .
The community council’s principal concern is continuing lack of engagement in the process of reviewing the various measures introduced under the Spaces for People programme. These schemes have been in place in many cases for over a year and based on previous reports to committee, have been supposedly reviewed several times over that period of time. We have never been approached for comments about implemented schemes in our area. As a Community Council we believe that we can provide useful input from residents and businesses about how these measures are working but there is no process for us to do so. We understand the reasons why some of these schemes were introduced with little consultation but we are struggling to understand the rationale for this continued lack of engagement. We believe that in many cases the choice between retain or remove is too simple. There will be features of even the best scheme where improvement is possible and likewise in schemes scheduled for removal there will be elements that should be retained. We urge the Council to put in place an effective and transparent engagement process that allows for local input to be considered prior to extending/modifying measures under an ETRO or indeed removing measures.
Our second concern is that the temporary measures are not suitable for long-term use. As noted many of the measures have been in place for over a year and if retained under an ETRO (Experimental Traffic Regulation Order) could be in place for around three years. For example, pavements have been extended but nothing has been done to make these areas either suitable or safe for those with mobility issues or visual impairment. From a recent discussion with a local resdient who escorts a blind person to church each week, she described the difficulties now being experienced without proper pavements, lack of tactile paving and the absence of audio signals on temporary crossings. We believe that if measures are to be retained then the design should comply with the Edinburgh Street Design Guidance to ensure that they are fit for purpose.
Overall the NTBCC are broadly supportive of the measures in our area but there are some issues that we would want to highlight.
Below is a email communication received by the community council on the proposed redevelopment of Beaverhall House on Beaverhall Road.
The content is reproduced as received. It contains links to the the latest information on what is planned as well as an opportunity to feedback any comments on the proposal as it stands.
We would encourage all those interested in the future of this site to respond to the questionnaire.
On behalf of HUB, we would like to thank everyone that has got involved in the first stage of our consultation for Beaverhall House. The feedback received is being reviewed and will help to inform the development of our proposals for the site.
A recording of the public webinar that took place on Tuesday 28 September 2021 is available to watch on our project website with a copy of the presentation. The webinar included introductions to the project team, background information to the proposals for Beaverhall House and a live Q&A session with the project team.
Below are the reports submitted by the various NTBCC Committee conveners to NTBCC members prior to the October meeting. The key aspects of these reports were part of the Occtober NTBCC meeting but due to time pressures, not all of the content was discussed. The following reports cover Transport, Events (& other topics falling under the Environment Committee e.g. 2030 Climate Strategy) & Planning.
Although the key topics were discussed, there is much additional detail in these reports. If there are issues raised in them that were not covered, please contact us via www.ntbcc.org.uk/contact/ and we will try to respond.
Thse will be included in the Minutes of the meeting – to be published officially in mid November.
N.B. This is a long read (10 minutes+)
The New Town & Broughton Community Council along with representatives from the Friends of King George V Park & others have been engaged with Turley, the planning consultant (acting on behalf of Ediston, the developer of the ex-RBS site) on progressing the Council-imposed condition / informative imposed as part of the approval of the various applications in relation to the wider development – specifically relating to cycling provision from the proposed new entrance into King George V Park (KGVP).
We have been invited to a further meeting on 15 October with the Council’s Parks & Green Spaces and Active Travel team along with the Friends and others to agree the final proposal for extending the cycle path from the new cut-through from Dundas Street to KGVP and widening / resurfacing current paths in KGVP to accommodate this – the final proposal put forward by the Council can be seen here.
We would be interested in any comments that local residents and park users have to this proposal.
The New Town & Broughton Community Council monthly meeting will be on Monday 11 October 2021 at 7:00pm.
We’re continuing for now with an online event as we’re unaware of any changes to either Edinburgh Council or Scottish Government guidance, the community council feels that it’s still appropriate that this meeting will again be held by video conference, using the Zoom platform. However, along with other coommunity councils, we are looking at options that may allow either 100% in-person meetings or a hybrid model (some attending in person but also with a remote link) but don’t expect this until 2022.
We look forward to as many residents as possible from the New Town & Broughton Community Council area joining us for this.
If interested – please register via Eventbrite here
The full agenda for these meetings will be posted on our website, https://www.ntbcc.org.uk/meetings/ when available but a precis of discussion topics is shown below.
Following further discussion at the September NTBCC meeting on our response to the current consultation on the proposed city centre LEZ, we have now finalised our submission.
In summary, we are supportive of the introduction of a LEZ in Edinburgh but do not believe that the proposed scheme goes far enough both in terms of its geographical spread and in its ambitions to reduce pollution from vehicles. There are specific issues with some sections of the proposed boundary which we believe should be addressed before the LEZ is finalised. We are also concerned that the proposed enforcement regime will not be sufficient to ensure proper compliance.
We look forward to continued engagement in the development of the Low Emission Zone.
Please note that this consultation is open for comments from members of the public until 20 September 2021 – it can be accessed on the Council’s Consultation Hub here.
Below is the full text of our submission. A pdf version can also be downloaded here.
Response by New Town and Broughton Community Council to Edinburgh Council’s Consultation on Proposed Low Emission Zone
The New Town and Broughton Community Council (NTBCC) welcomes the Council’s plans to move forward with introducing a Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) in Edinburgh but we are concerned that the current proposals are not sufficiently ambitious and will have a serious detrimental impact for some residents, particularly those that live outside the boundaries of the currently proposed City Centre LEZ. We strongly believe that the boundaries of the LEZ should be increased in order to benefit a larger proportion of the residents of Edinburgh.
The area of the proposed LEZ currently covers only 2.5% of the City and excludes many areas of the City with the greatest density of residents. It will also not include the designated Town Centres and areas such as Broughton Street, which form such an important element in the development of 20-minute neighbourhoods outlined in the recently approved City Mobility Plan. In setting the boundaries of the LEZ, more consideration has been given to providing convenient diversionary routes for non-compliant vehicles than maximising the health benefits for people living in Edinburgh. Pollution levels have been considered on an absolute basis without any consideration of the number of people that will be exposed to that pollution. We are particularly concerned that there is no recognition of the risks to pedestrians from vehicular emissions in areas outside of the proposed LEZ; some of which have very high levels of walking including children walking to school.
There are three sections of the currently proposed boundary within the NTBCC area where we believe that further consideration is required before the plans are finalised – these are :
EVENT IN PARK ENGAGEMENT – FLY OPEN AIR MUSIC FESTIVAL – WEST PRINCES STREET GARDENS – 17-19 SEPTEMBER 2021 (on-site between 10-23 September 2021)
23 August 2021
“New Town and Broughton Community Council take the view that events that require significant infrastructure build and de-rig out-with the Ross Band Stand area, both in terms of area used and time taken, are clearly major events and therefore not suitable for West Princes St Gardens (WPSG). We agree with the position taken by the Old Town Community Council in whose area this sits). Over recent years there is and continues to be a strongly emerging view that spaces like WPSG essentially belong to the people of the City of Edinburgh, as such they are used daily and extensively by residents and they should not be subjected to commercialisation.
Assuming that everything runs according to plan, the park will be occupied by FLY for 14 days.
St Cuthbert’s Churchyard is the only level access to WPSG that is suitable for those with mobility issues as well as those who are unable to navigate the steps and slopes whilst using wheelchairs and prams. Additionally, it is a popular through route for local residents and those working in the Old Town traversing to and from Princes Street. The proposed entrance closes WPSG to these people, creates clear equality implications and the site plan cuts WPSG in half blocking access from one side of WPSG to the other.
It is imperative that the top path remains open throughout the timing of the event, including set up and take down to enable public access for the event to meet its claim that WPSG will remain open to the public throughout.