Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 19 May 2022

Minutes of the Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting on Wednesday 19 May 2022 at 5:30pm, at Trams project compound (165 Leith Walk)

Actions and decisions are red italic. ‘TT’ means ‘Trams Team’. Names are mostly abbreviated to initials.

0 Summary of actions

Item Action
3.2 June CCTT/TT meeting to review presentation of sectional completion dates on map
3.13.2 CW to investigate reports of unhealthy trees
3.13.4 RA to chase for modelling
3.13.4 RA/MB to engage over designs
3.13.4 TT to consider communications around completion dates, e.g. Picardy Place/Broughton St

1 Prelims

1.1 Welcome, apologies

1.1.1 Present

Robert Armstrong* TT Jennifer Marlborough* CCTT/LHNCC
Gareth Barwell Director of operational services, CEC Michael Motion TT/TurnerTownsend
Mike Birch* CCTT/NTBCC Carol Nimmo* CCTT/NTBCC
Don Giles CCTT/LHNCC Bruce Ryan† CCTT minutes secretary
Rob Leech† TT Harald Tobermann* CCTT/LCCC
Andrew Mackenzie† CCTT /LLCC Chris Wilson TT/CEC

* = in person; † = via MS teams

1.1.2 Apologies

Charlotte Encombe CCTT/LCCC Carol Nimmo CCTT/NTBCC Chris Wilson TT

1.2 Minutes of April 2021 meeting

Approved nem con

1.3 Actions from April meeting not included on agenda below

Item Action Outcome
3.1 CCTT to pressure BT to renovate phone booths Conversations are in progress
3.1 RA to check with Trams project board whether CCTT can directly meet relevant CEC managers Done – hence G Barwell is present
4 RA to investigate whether the maps in section 4 can be published on the TT website Done
4.5 CW to investigate long journeys between road-crossings Not discussed?
4.5 RA to review access to bins at the Foot of the Walk Done
4.5 RA to ensure colour-coding on maps is consistent Done according to RA, but not done according to MB
5.1 MB and AM to meet about photos of issues MB has relevant photos
5.2 TT to review issues with road surfaces In progress
6.1 RA to ascertain who signed off bin-bay designs (TT to CEC waste?) RA to engage with E Manfroi
6.1 RA to investigate inappropriate bin-locations on bin-review maps RA to engage with E Manfroi
8.2 RA to facilitate attendance of CEC officials Done – hence G Barwell is present

2 Gareth Barwell: CEC plans to manage sectional completions, quality control, final assets handover, ‘Ready for Operations’ protocols

(for reference: Flowchart Sectional Completion 2)

Mr Barwell (GB) reported:

  • His Operations division covers, inter alia, drainage, parking, traffic signals, waste and cleansing, grounds/public realm, street-lighting. Hence he and his division have been involved with the trams project from the very start, and are now taking part in the ‘ready for operations’ phase of the project. Therefore they know in advance what will be delivered.
  • Operations has a dedicated asset manager, and IT to log handed-over assets and associated documentation/information.
  • Operations earnt a lot from original tram installation, through its involvement with it and from some things not going right first time in that project. However, through involvement in the current project, Operations is confident.
    • Examples include traffic signals. These are linked to CEC’s control systems, so faults can be monitored and fixed. (Around 15% of traffic signals in Edinburgh aren’t part of the relevant systems.)
    • Another example is waste services – the trams need special cleaning processes.
    • Bin locations are under review. Some locations have changed as the trams project has progressed.
  • J Marlborough: Easter Road has major congestion, leading to major delays, and lack of information on bus diversions.
    • GB: the signals should have been rephased this week to alleviate this.
    • RA: a cable needed to be installed, requiring pushback of traffic management (TM). The TM is now where it was, so the junction seems to be operating OK.
    • JM: not in my observation today
    • RA: many people are going back to work, and hence there is more traffic.
    • HT: but the tram system was designed for normal (pre-covid) transport requirements.
    • GB: Edinburgh is a centre of employment. We need more investment in public transport.
    • GB: these signals aren’t (yet) part of UTC because they are temporary. Modelling is based on assumptions, but reality may diverge from these over time (e.g. due to roadworks). The UTC systems enables adaptations to cope with this.
  • GB: ‘Confirm’ is an asset management system: each item (e.g. street-light, carriageway, footway) has a unique identifier.
  • GB: at handover, assets are taken into the system, along with relevant documentation.
  • RL: TT is now talking with individual team managers. TT will hand over ‘health and safety’ files, maintenance schedules, spares etc. The handover plan specifies how, on ‘ready for operation’ days, CEC has the necessary information to deal with any issues. GB’s team is working with TT to ensure this happens.
    • HT: we know that issues will arise. Our concern is that CEC staff are already overworked. Does CEC have sufficient staff to ingest all the new trams assets into its systems?
    • GB: many ‘new’ assets are already in the system, e.g. street lights that were present before the trams project began. However, they may have changed, e.g. a different type of paving slap is now present. My team ingests many thousands of assets from new housing developments each year, so it has the necessary capacity and experience.
    • HT: please let us see the scale of ingestions from a large housing development
    • RL: all street-lights, for example, have been specified by CEC, so will meet relevant standards. TT is paying due attention to the complexities, and has developed an appropriate handover plan with GB/Operations. TT’s responsibilities are more than just delivering a tram system.
  • DG: what is the relationship between CEC and the tram operator?
    • GB: the track and street-lights etc are CEC assets, which the tram operator accesses. There is an operating agreement between the operator and CEC which specifies which body does what with respect to maintenance.
    • DG: many assets are static, but who owns the rolling stock?
    • GB/RL: the assets are operated and maintained by the operator. There is also a maintenance contract the rolling-stock manufacturer but ultimately they are CEC assets.
  • MB: CCTT understands TT holds documentation on ‘Viewpoint’. How will they be ingested into CEC’s ‘Confirm’ system?
    • GB: the process will be predominantly manual. We are used to doing this, replacing old asset records with new ones. The process is to consider whether any asset has changed during construction. If it has, e.g. different slabs have been installed, little extra work is needed to cope with this, and hence ensure maintenance and safety regimes are in place.
    • RA: one sectional completion has already taken place: Baltic St to Tower Place. Another is imminent.
    • MM: the contractor has responsibility for snagging for two years after completion.
    • MB: who controls access to completed sections, given that both CEC and the contractor have responsibilities there?
    • GB/RA: if a safety defect happens, CEC will fix it. We will work with TT to ensure snagging happens.
    • (There was discussion of how reports of defects will be filtered/triaged to the responsibly bodies, and time-limits.)
    • MB: are all the assets in handed-over sections now on CEC’s public database, so the public can report issues?
    • RL: it is not the end of the world if everything isn’t on the database, so long as there is process for dealing with this.
    • GB: assets can be added to the database when problems are reported and addressed.
    • HT: please clarify when assets will be live on CEC systems.
    • MB: the trams project will be blamed for things that are not their responsibility. Hence it is important that there is co-ordination between TT, CEC and other bodies.
    • DG: the key thing is that issues are addressed. Who does this is not important.
    • GB: CEC will take on rectifications, deciding when things need to be done, and by whom.
  • HT: are all assets now – or due to be – on CEC’s asset system?
    • GB: traffic signals are on a different system run by the contractor (Siemens). They were involved in the trams project from the start. CEC maintains, for example, bus shelters. There are contracts in place for this.
  • MB: who is in charge of handover at CEC?
    • RA (by email):
      • Gavin Brown, Head of Network Management & Enforcement
      • Cliff Hutt, Head of Roads & Infrastructure
      • Andy Williams, Head of Neighbourhood Environmental Services
  • RL: TT will also have a person responsible for supplying information, as well as RA. This person has not yet been appointed, so TT is currently going via management teams.
  • GB: CCTT can help by providing him with information on any problems it observes.
    • HT: there will be new processes and assets, e.g. new types of street-lights, new gullies, new bin-emptying timetables. CEC staff will need relevant training as part of handover.
    • GB: CEC teams are used to this. For example, there is a central street-lighting system, in which lights automatically report faults. This ensures maintenance teams will arrive with the necessary replacement bulbs etc. Similarly, roads inspectors are trained to specify requisition of appropriate footpath slabs. Necessary conversations about waste are taking place.
    • JM: people will contact TT if they see problems. Are these passed onto CEC?
    • CW: this is ultimately a CEC project, so we pass on issues to the relevant CEC departments/people.
    • JM: there are issues about lack of road-signs.
    • GB: there will be issues to do with bins as traffic management moves. We are aware of this, and will learn from it.

3 TT reports and updates

3.1 Latest (dated) progress dashboard with period lookahead and key metrics

  • MB: This week’s closure of Annandale St caused major issues. Please re-open McDonald Rd before closing Annandale St.
    • RA: it was closed for a few days for Scottish Water works (done by Morrisons) and to install a traffic-signal cable. This work was agreed by the Traffic Management Review Panel.
    • RA: there will be no further closure of Annadale St. It has been mandated that at least one of the Annandale, McDonald and Pilrig junctions with Leith Walk will remain open at all times. There was no effect on buses, apart from diversions.
    • MB/HT: there is a huge volume of traffic, and hence noise, on East London St due to bus diversions. There should be a traffic counter: according to residents, traffic levels are at their worst ever. Is anything preventing traffic-counting? Anecdotes are not data. This issue is getting much attention.
    • JM: buses are suffering major delays, partly because cars occupy bus lanes. There seems to be no exit from Leith

3.2 Latest (dated) route map (May/June 2022) with sectional completion dates

  • CW: there have been no changes. In June we will review changing dates from seasons to months.
    • Action: June CCTT/TT meeting to review this.

3.3 Latest (dated) H&S metrics

No questions raised.

3.4 Latest (dated) map showing all current temporary pedestrian crossing points along the route and distances, location of temporary bus stops, and diverted or narrowed (below 1.2m) footpaths

  • RA: this map was updated on the website this afternoon
  • HT there was congestion at St James. Joined-up working patterns are needed.
  • MB: the Playhouse crossing has moved.

3.5 Separate map or annotation to 3.4 showing any planned changes (one month ahead)

See section 3.4

3.6 Latest (dated) map showing additional traffic management arrangements to accommodate site investigations works and utility diversions outside the main area of TTN works

  • MB: I see the Union St 1-way system has been removed.
    • RA: this will persist for ~2 weeks.

3.7 Map or list of traffic management measures (locations and brief description, dates) agreed and coming into force in the coming 5 weeks: road traffic diversions and lane closures, bus route diversions

See section 3.6

3.8 Ongoing metrics regarding ‘business health’

  • CW: I am due to receive relevant data in July. (It is delivered every 6 months.)
    • Some new businesses have opened. (Examples were given.) Sound & Vision is closed for refurbishment.
    • I am meeting with businesses soon. Support for Business needs to take into account macro-factors, e.g. cost of living.

3.9 Latest (dated) comms dashboard and latest geographical breakdown of comms

  • HT: It took 10-12 days to receive notification that an issue I reported had been closed. This seems too long.

3.10 Call centre stats and Support for Business Update

See section 3.9

3.11 Summary of the most recent Tram Project Board meeting on a confidential basis

RL’s report is redacted to respect confidentiality.

3.12 Summary of TT meetings with Active Travel and Business Groups

No points raised

3.13 Queries and issues identified by CCTT

3.13.1 LHNCC

  • J Marlborough: There has been much concern about the forthcoming removal of the 22 service. This is the only direct east-west bus service
    • RA: TT can speak with Lothian Buses about this, but it would be better coming directly from CCs and EBUG.
    • RL: TT is not part of bus changes, but it was always anticipated that there would be changes.
  • JM: information boards are needed at Ocean Terminal.
    • CW: OT seems to be happy for these to be installed.

3.13.2 LLCC

  • HT: please clarify about trees at the bottom of Leith Walk.
    • CW: the trees at 129 Leith Walk will remain. The trees by the Central Bar have been removed. Over the whole route, 87 trees have been/will be removed, but 167 will definitely be planted. (We hope to make this up to 174.)
    • CW: the contractor is obliged to maintain trees for at least 2 years. After that, this is a CEC duty.
    • CW: I will investigate reports of unhealthy trees.
    • RA: areas close to the track, e.g. Ocean Terminal frontage, will become a CEC responsibility.

3.13.3 LCCC

  • HT: the Croall Place bus shelter is due to go north of the police box. This will not allow people to see approaching buses.
    • RA: The area between the cycleway and the carriageway isn’t wide enough for this advertising shelter. Hence it needs to be against the wall to maximise pedestrian space.
    • HT: this should be added to the register of post-completion issues.
    • RA: CEC is contractually obliged to provide a certain number of advertising shelters. CEC decides locations, not JCD.
    • (There was discussion of pavement widths, and where people will wait for buses depending on the current weather.)

3.13.4 NTBCC

  • MB: the Picardy Place TROs included removal of the left turn from Leith Walk to London Rd. However, traffic modelling had not been completed at that time. Demonstration of this modelling to CCTT is still outstanding. The same applies to Leopold Place.
    • Action: RA to chase modelling
  • MB: In March, CCTT was told that Active Travel design goes through a process. What is this process? What are the outcomes?
    • RL/RA: we built to the drawings. Approved designs are available on the TT website.
    • MB: I see different outcomes in different places. Are there definitions of how side-streets, pedestrian crossings should be? Edinburgh Street Design Guidance is open to different interpretations.
    • Action: RA/MB to pursue this elsewhere
  • CN: traffic is taking a very long time to get from Broughton St to London Rd.
    • MB: we learnt yesterday that the single lane at the top of Broughton St will be removed
    • RA/RL: There will be 2 lanes from Picardy Place going into 2 lanes on Broughton St. Most TM will be removed from this area. TT does appreciate that this area has much traffic.
    • RA/CW: completion of Picardy Place has always been scheduled for October/Autumn.
    • RL: TT should undertake a communications campaign about this.
    • HT: signage should include projected completion dates.
    • Action: TT to consider this communications piece

4 Final design/landscape

4.1 Pilrig Cable Wheels

  • no items

5 Register of post project measures

  • no items



7 Date of next meeting/s and guests

  • 9 June, 14 July