NTBCC minutes Monday 12 October 2021

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s ordinary meeting, held via Zoom, on Monday 12 October 2020 at 7pm

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“Active Travel Measures” – Deputation to Transport & Environment Committee

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.

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NTBCC response to ‘retaining Spaces for People measures’ consultation

Executive Summary

As noted below, the New Town and Broughton Community Council (NTBCC) considers the consultation to be deeply flawed. The inclusion of questions about measures not yet implemented is highly questionable. Until there has been an opportunity to evaluate the success or otherwise of any particular measures, it is impossible to make any valid judgment on whether they should be retained or removed. Many of the questions group cycling and walking together but the needs of these two groups are quite different making it impossible to properly judge the merits of specific measures for each of these groups. The survey is designed to encourage simple yes/no answers to questions about whether measures should be retained and does too little to obtain any insight into the consequences both favourable and otherwise from the implementation of the measures. The Commonplace Mapping tool would have been a far more effective means of obtaining genuine and considered feedback on the various measures that have been introduced. This lack of qualitative feedback will hamper any decision making by Council officials and Councillors. Edinburgh Council and its citizens deserve better than this hastily prepared and poorly designed survey.

With regard to the specific schemes already implemented in our area:

  • We are in favour of continuing with the changes to The Mound and Princes Street East with some provisos.
  • We are opposed to the measures on Waverley Bridge and London Road being retained and indeed believe that they should removed before the end of the current TTRO’s.
  • We do not agree that any of the measures yet to be introduced in our area including those to Broughton Street, Broughton Roundabout, Bellevue, Rodney Street or Canonmills should be considered for retention until there has been an opportunity to better assess their effectiveness.
  • We are also very concerned about the impact on traffic in our area of the planned changes to South Bridge and would urge that implementation is delayed until the consequences of the planned restrictions to vehicular traffic can be better understood. 

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NTBCC minutes – Monday 8 June 2020

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s meeting, held via Zoom on Monday 8 June 2020 at 7pm Continue reading

Proposed Partial Road Closure – Waverley Bridge

Abridged email from ‘Spaces for People’ (received at 4:18pm on Friday 5th June)  – previously communicated to key stakeholders including local Ward Councillors – then an updated copy emailled to the New Town & Broughton Community Council and the Old Town Community Council.

Covid-19 Cycling and Walking Emergency Response Measures

‘Please be advised that we are proposing to partially close Waverley Bridge at the junction with East Market Street allowing only taxi access and loading from Market Street.  Waverley Bridge will also be closed to vehicles at the junction with Princes Street as part of overall emergency measures to re-designate key parts of the road network to help pedestrians and cyclists travel safely while meeting physical distancing requirements. Cycle access from Princes Street will still be available  Such measures are required urgently to help prevent people from becoming ill or coming to harm by infection from COVID-19 whilst implementing physical distancing requirements.  
 
Space has been allocated to allow queuing for users of Waverley Station and for taxis. Loading access for Waverley Station and Princes Mall will be maintained and will be subject to further review.
 
These measures will be implemented under emergency delegated decision-making powers using a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order.’
 
‘Spaces for People Team’

Again, we are advised that normal expectations about community consultations cannot be fulfilled. However, if you should want to raise any issues, please get in touch using the Contact Us option on our website. This will also be discussed at the next NTBCC meeting on Monday 8th June.

Please note that the deadline for submitting comments to the ‘Spaces for People’ team is 5:00pm on Wednesday 10th June 2020.

If the proposal is agreed for implementation, ‘Spaces for People’ advise that formal publicity will then be undertaken so that local people are aware of the changes. They also have a dedicated inbox to help manage any feedback around proposals – spacesforpeople@edinburgh.gov.uk

The proposed design for the scheme covering Waverley Bridge including an updated drawing for the emergency response measures and the inclusion of the key. can be viewed here.