NTBCC disappointed in latest Spaces for People proposals for Broughton Street to Canonmills

The Council have just announced (see separate post) the temporary Spaces for People measures that will be implemented along the route from Canonmills to Broughton Street. While we welcome some aspects of the current plans including the widening of the pavements at the Broughton Road junction and the improvements made to a number of junctions along the route, we intend to highlight our disappointment with the overall package of measures. The current proposals largely ignore the feedback from the Commonplace Mapping conducted last year and make few meaningful improvements to pedestrian and cyclist safety.

In particular we believe that any measures for this route must include:

  1. Increase the width of the pavement on the east side of Broughton Street particularly at its junction with Picardy Place to provide a safe route and waiting area for pedestrians and wheelers wanting to cross the road at this junction. If it is decided, however, that it is not possible to remove one of the lanes of traffic then we question whether other work on Broughton Street should be delayed until the Trams project is completed.
  2. Redesign crossings at the roundabout at London Street to provide safer crossing points for pedestrians, which allow for movement along desire lines and reflect the priority intended for pedestrians from the Spaces for People programme. Removing the barriers without the improvements to the crossings and in particular their location will actually make this area more dangerous.  The crossings on this roundabout were highlighted as one of the primary concerns in the Commonplace mapping and at present the proposed measures do nothing to address this issue.
  3. Install new zebra crossings at the existing Broughton Street crossing points to enhance the safety of pedestrians crossing road and reduce speed of traffic heading downhill. Also introduce traffic calming measures to reduce the speed of downhill (northbound) traffic on Broughton Street and Bellevue/Rodney Street as well as traffic accessing London Street roundabout from all directions. The speed of traffic was one of the main concerns identified in the Commonplace mapping  – reducing traffic speed would have clear benefits for the safety of both pedestrians and cyclists.
  4. Install new segregated south and north bound cycle lanes between Broughton Road and the roundabout at London Street to join with proposed new cycle path along London Street to connect with National Cycle Route 75 along Dublin Street. The current proposal for fragmented segregated cycle lanes on both sides of sections of Rodney Street/Bellevue does not provide a safe route for cyclists especially those who are not as confident nor does it provide the necessary connectivity with the established cycle infrastructure.
  5. Install a new segregated cycle lane from north of roundabout at London Street, along London Street to connect with National Cycle Route 75 along Dublin Street. The current proposals ignore the nationally recognised safe cycle route that is just one street away from Broughton Street.The priority should be to ensure improved connectivity with this designated route, which would allow cyclists to connect with the installed and planned cycle infrastructure through the centre of Edinburgh and beyond. We believe that the concerns about the Dublin Street portion of the route can be readily addressed under the Spaces for People programme.
  6. We believe that providing a safe cycling route via Dublin Street is preferable to the current plans for short sections of segregated cycle lane on the east side of Broughton Street which come to an abrupt end half way along the street. We do recognise that longer-term plans for Broughton Street should include greater provision for safe cycling. However, due to the limitations imposed by the Trams project we accept that any such improvement must wait for the end of that project and the implementation of other measures included in the City Mobility Plan to reduce City Centre traffic.
  7. While we support a reduction in the number of loading bays and further restrictions in the operating hours for these bays to reduce impact on traffic flow we do not agree with moving these bays into the adjoining residential side streetsgiven the size of delivery vehicles, the width of side streets and loss of the already limited resident parking bays.
  8. In addition to these specific proposals we believe that the measures should include further removal of street clutter, a review of the timings of pedestrians crossing as well as repairs to damaged pavements and the road surface especially where damaged by pot holes to improve safety for both pedestrians and cyclists.

We look forward to receiving your comments on the current proposals and our own suggestions for improving pedestrian and cyclist safety along this route.  As you may have seen the Council is already consulting on whether the temporary Spaces for People measures should be retained including those for this part of the City that have yet to be implemented.

In order to gauge the opinions of the people living and working in our Community, we are planning to hold a special NTBCC Zoom meeting at 7.00pm on Monday 29th March specifically on this topic.

If interested – please register via Eventbrite here.