Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 28 January 2021

Minutes of the Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting (Construction Phase) via Google Meet on Thursday 28 January 2021 at 5:30pm

Actions and decisions are red italic. ‘TT’ means ‘Trams Team’.

1 Attendance

Robert Armstrong TT Steve Jackson TT Bruce Ryan CCTT minutes secretary
Mike Birch CCTT/NTBCC Rob Leech TT Harald Tobermann CCTT/LCCC
Charlotte Encombe CCTT/LCCC Andrew Mackenzie CCTT /LLCC Chris Wilson TT
Don Giles LHNCC Jennifer Marlborough CCTT/LHNCC
Angus Hardie CCTT/LLCC Carol Nimmo CCTT/NTBCC

2 Apologies

None, but R Armstrong was late due to attendance at another meeting

3 Update/queries CCTT

Additional discussion and information given in the meeting is noted in at the bottom of each issue’s row.

Ref Categories CCTT query/issue TT initial response (via email), provided 27 January
0121.1 environmental impact, quality of life slow progress around ground borne noise/vibration issues at Leith Walk address The technical report is currently being finalised.
  • TT: This report has taken longer than TT hoped. It will be issued by Atkins on Friday (29th January) or Monday (1st February).
    • Action: RL to read the report, then contact the property owner, and work with CCTT on how best to communicate findings and decide on any further actions on ground-born noise.
0121.2 sharing information late provision of drainage information (discussed in OCT, promised at NOV meeting, requested in DEC before Christmas, provided in JAN) This has been discussed at a number of meetings we did debate whether the information was useful to CCTT members given its technical nature. Information now issued.
  • TT acknowledges this information-provision took too long.
  • TT still believes this ‘data dump’ was not the best way to tackle this question.
    • Actions: CCTT to not share this data further. CCTT to respond to it.
0121.3 impact on pedestrians, quality of life poor signage and no advance warning for changes to pedestrian cross-tram work routes Signage on site is adequate and making minor amendments to pedestrian crossings to accommodate the works was always envisaged and given the nature of these minor changes does not require any notification
  • CCTT: crossings have moved frequently, with no notice or signs that ‘crossing moved to <arrow>’. This lack is unhelpful for disabled people and those travelling at night.
    • TT: crossings remain as close as possible to previous locations, moving at most 50m. They need to move so TT can lay track. Action
    • Action: TT to look into signage
  • CCTT: detour for pedestrians at Manderston St is very large and violates social-distancing requirements. Detour for cars is small. Better solutions should be used for future street-blocks.
    • TT: this diversion was due to work on a major gas-main – this requirement is unlikely elsewhere. This work should be completed in March 2021.
  • CCTT: there appears to be much redundant signage, and it looks chaotic/untidy/unpleasant. Can better materials be used?
    • TT: we will audit this: there are many types of signage, some legally required, some been asked for by shops etc.
    • TT: original materials were inappropriate; current materials are chosen to avoid wind-damage to fencing
0121.4 impact on pedestrians, quality of life what was the total number of cross-tram works pedestrian crossings in FEB20, SEP20, now? The number of pedestrian crossings along the route remains unchanged and in line with the traffic management plans, although as noted above these may move from time to time to accommodate the works
· TT: the number of crossings has not been reduced since work started, but some have moved.
0121.5 impact on pedestrians, quality of life the CCTT/TT concordat envisaged ‘no detriment to local services’; we see broken street lighting, insufficient resources for daily waste collection, drop kerbs filled with puddles and ice Street lighting have been made aware and are monitoring the route (please note, side streets (which is the biggest complaint) still need to be reported through the normal channels i.e. CEC contact centre).

Monthly meetings with waste, HT joined JE and RA last month and reported no major concerns and nothing was picked up on the site walk. Bins also moved following request from HT and a street swept.

  • CCTT anticipated there would be such problems, based on the first tram-works project. Politicians promised there would be no disruption to services during this project. Contact with politicians above current problems has had no practical effects.
  • CCTT: street-lighting problems were reported before winter break – why have they not been fixed?
    • TT: lighting staff need inductions, but it has been difficult to get them to commit to a date/time. The same applies for CCTV team, for work on Constitution St.
    • TT: TT meets regularly with the CEC waste team.
    • TT: cover on Dalmeny St: TT reported this to Scottish Water in October; SW has now appointed an engineer; TT is tracking progress.
    • TT: water-pooling on Albert St: TT has highlighted this before winter break to CEC gullies team – this issue will be fixed.
    • Action: R Armstrong and street-lighting team will walk over the site (including side-streets)
    • Action: CCTT to inform TT of specific problems, RA to chase these.
  • CCTT: during snowy weather, streets are gritted quickly, but please also grit pavements on both sides of Leith Walk.
    • Action: TT to pick this up with relevant CEC team. It’s harder to do the west side, but I will keep you informed.
  • CCTT: a grit-bin near Manderston St was recently within the work-side fencing – why? CCTV on Constitution St has been off for a very long time, worrying shopkeepers.
    • TT: TT was assured that CCTV would be sorted by winter, but has received no further response from that CEC team. The site is ready, and TT is emailing the CCTV team ‘almost daily’ – the installer is based in England. TT is aware of the need to sort this, and will try other routes to do this asap.
  • CCTT: two aspects of the concordat are working well: parking attendants and barrow litter-cleaning.
0121.6 traffic impact conclusion to previous queries around future New Town diversions (modelling) We are awaiting any feedback from CCTT, the modelling report was provided, queries raised by CCTT of which were then responded to and we were advised further queries were to be raised. These have not been received
  • CCTT: CCTT has not yet responded to the supplied information. Action: M Birch to respond to S Jackson
    • TT: TT has just commissioned Jacobs to model traffic for Picardy Place. TT can engage with CCTT about this when it’s ready.
  • CCTT: please advise on timing of Broughton St closure.
    • TT: TT is doing details work on this just now
  • CCTT: traffic in Easter Rd, Duke St and Commercial St is ‘appalling’ because much traffic is diverted here.
    • TT: TT meets regularly with the traffic signals team. Mitigation measures are in place at Vanburgh Place. TT agrees there is more traffic on Easter Rd, but this was inevitable due to part-closure of Leith Walk.
    • CCTT: Vanburgh Place is in Leith Links CC area – it’s not been as bad as some feared. Modelling had suggested that traffic lights was supposed to minimise problems but there are severe. Is this an argument for a roundabout?
    • CCTT: the situation may change when school traffic resumes.
0121.7 traffic impact what is the Spaces for People programme interface with TT at London Rd (and elsewhere)? TT attend any meetings that have work within the area, and copied in on all correspondence and proposed works that SfP are carrying out.
  • CCTT: SfP is introducing cycle-lane on only south side of London Rd. Also crossing on Leopold Place does not support social distancing. CEC stated that ‘due to ongoing tram-construction on Leith Walk, at this stage SfP is unable to bring forward proposals to improve these areas. The Tram Project will be addressing these areas in the near future…’
    • CCTT: so who will sort this: TT or CEC/SfP?
    • TT: TT had understood that this SfP item would proceed. Lining has been placed in. It may be difficult to tie this into the cycle-provision TT is creating.
    • CCTT: the main point here is lack of action about the crossing, but it’s true that the London Rd cycle-way marks just stop. We understand the crossing is to be moved eventually right next to Leith Walk but just now it’s inadequate.
    • TT: the crossing-point will move next to Leith Walk, towards the end of 2021/start of 2022. SfP is likely to be responsible just now for social distancing here.
    • Action: M Birch to forward correspondence about this (and abut Picardy Place) with CEC/SfP to TT.
    • Action: TT to engage with SfP
0121.8 environmental impact we understand that, originally, all street-facing buildings along the tram line were to be surveyed but that surveys are now restricted to A-listed buildings only. Why this limitation? All street facing buildings along the route will have an external building condition survey carried out. The contractor has assessed building that are either listed or in close proximity to works that would necessitate an internal survey. Where this has been identified the internal surveys have been completed where access was granted
  • TT: These surveys are a ‘matter of course’.
    • TT: All buildings received façade surveys.
    • TT: A- and B-listed buildings, and buildings deemed by TT as ‘at risk’ (from nearby piling etc) received internally surveyed if access was permitted by owners. TT was granted access to ~80% of properties where TT wanted to do interior surveys.
    • TT: TT is not comfortable openly publishing information about people’s property, but can share any survey with the relevant owner.
    • TT: External surveys were been carried out at Stevedore Place prior to works commencing. These can be shared as above. We can provide all owners with surveys of their own buildings. If there is a comms-failure, please tell us details.
  • Concerning vibration data, TT suggests it is better to answer specific queries, rather than simply place all this specialised and hard-to-understand data on the TT website. However, TT does not regard the data as secret.
  • CCTT: residents are not aware of external surveys – please inform them! Does TT accept if a property has not been internally surveyed, and the owner believes tram-work has caused damage, that TT is liable?
    • TT: TT does not accept this. It has records of its compliance with legislation and relevant thresholds.
  • CCTT: How far back does ‘street-facing’ mean?
    • TT: all properties facing the works will have façade-surveys. These were done before work-start where work has started, but are yet to be done in other areas. (These are few.)
0121.9 environmental impact what should homeowners do if they discover structural damage to their homes and believe the damage to be caused by work associated with the Trams to Newhaven project? To whom should they submit a claim for compensation? Residents should report the damage through our communication channels and we can take this through the required assessment process.
· See 0121.8 and 0121.10
0121.10 sharing information we would like all noise & vibration data to be readily available for public scrutiny. We therefore request that the relevant contractor(s) publish the relevant raw data along with their own analyses and reports preferably on the project website. We would like to discuss this request at the meeting.
  • TT: if someone wants the data, it will be provided. But TT suggests providing it in ‘digestible’, accessible formats.
0121.11 design why final approved design drawing has not been incorporated from application 20/04060/PA (withdrawn 10/11/20) into planning 20/03058/PA as approved This does not form part of the realms of the Prior Approval and so does not need to feature in the PA. We can confirm the final design is being constructed.
  • CCTT: CCTT is concerned that transfer of comments on original application to the one that should be built (retaining Discovery Gardens) implies the original application (which would lose Discovery Gardens) might be followed.
    • TT: Prior approvals specifically determine structural locations, so do not need to show e.g. these gardens. In any case, TT is building here – and will build the design that retains the gardens. This is all in line with the Trams Act.
    • CCTT: should the drawings on CEC planning portal not show what has now been approved – and will happen?
    • Action: CCTT to chase CEC planning to get the planning portal documentation sorted.
0121.12 environmental impact, quality of life litter/rubbish at Ocean Drive/Melrose Drive Suggest we discuss any specific issues at the meeting.


  • CCTT: the litter problem at the roundabout is horrendous. Who is responsible for maintaining the area during tram-work?
    • Action: TT to insist that James Elliot (CEC waste team) gets this sorted.

4 Update TT

4.a Summary of progress made by TT between 26 November and 28 January

  • Leith Walk: work has continued work on utilities and excavation – the majority is now complete, and track is being laid (McDonald Rd to Annandale St, Pilrig St to Dalmeny St). More such progress will happen in February.
  • Foot of the Walk to Coatfield Lane: we have nearly finished utility and excavation work. One minor gas main needs to be tackled. Foundation work of the graveyard wall will commence in February.
  • Queen Charlotte St to Baltic St; drainage and ducting work will continue, and track should be laid.
  • Baltic St to Tower St: track-laying continues.
  • Stevedore Place: excavation work has started.
  • Ocean Terminal to Rennies Isle: traffic management is in place, excavation and utility work has been started.
  • Outside Ocean Terminal, track-laying has been started; and construction of the tram-stop is anticipated.
  • Newhaven: completion of retaining walls is under way; works to lower Lindsay Rd are in progress.

4.a.1 Q&A

  • CCTT: can we see the new plans for rebuilding the graveyard wall?
  • TT: Yes – there are some changes: a few extra openings but no real change in planning height.
  • Action: TT to put these plans on its website
  • Intra-CCTT: Steel Shed is stored at Port of Leith distillery. Forth Ports may provide final location, not on the tram route.

4.b New issues/’conflicts’ (if any) encountered by TT/contractors, review of latest TT dashboard

  • TT: Detailed designs should be completed in the next two months.
  • TT: 62% of utility conflicts have been resolved. Number of unresolved conflicts is an estimate, but more accurate than the original estimate.
  • TT: key metrics (clearing the route, installing track-slab, ducting and drainage installation) are generally on target.
  • Progress (as noted in item 4.a) is visualized on a route-map on the dashboard.
  • TT: Health and safety dashboard shows numbers of incidents, and quality issues.
  • TT: the dashboard also shows compliance checks.
  • TT: ‘stakeholder and comms’ section shows time taken to respond to enquiries.
  • Peaks on this graph correlate with key changes to the sight, e.g. installation of new traffic management.

4.c TT plans 29 January through to end February and beyond

4.c.1 Works planned; changes to pedestrian and traffic routes

TT: See item 4.a. Major changes to traffic management are unlikely. Manderston deviation will remain until end of March.

4.c.2 Timeline for upcoming TROs, designs of public realm, and planning applications

  • CCTT: TROs were due around now, and one was before CEC committee today. Why just this one, without warning?
  • TT: this was a standalone TRO to add banning of a left turn from Leith Walk to London Rd to the existing plans. Once statutory consultation has taken place, this change can be added to the overall TRO for this area. Then the ‘complete’ TRO can go to public consultation. It’s not controversial.
  • TT: this change was not deliberately omitted from the original TRO. It comes from traffic and design modeling.
  • CCTT: CCTT should have had prior warning of this TRO via this forum. CCTT did not know that TT was modeling traffic. Leith Walk and London Rd are arterial routes, not a rat-run. This change to a major turn will cause rat-runs. There appears to be communications failures between SfP and TT.
  • TT apologies for this break in comms with CCTT. The modeling and TRO preparation in the long gap since the last TT/CCTT meeting. There is not a significant volume of traffic making this turn (~50 vehicles in the morning peak, and 100 in the post-noon peak. 30% of these came from Elm Row, rather than Leith Walk.) Signals will reduce traffic coming onto arterials. The term rat-run refers to traffic coming from Annandale St to Leith Walk to London Rd, pushing traffic onto Broughton St. CEC aims to push traffic onto arterial routes, not onto side-streets.
  • CCTT: TT should have showed this modeling to TT. Pushing traffic onto Broughton St is not welcome.
  • CCTT: We are concerned about not seeing the TROs and how they cover public realm. Can we walk through the route?
  • TT: Public realm and TROs are different. Public realm plans went through 2 consultations before the final business case was put to CEC. TROs are about configuration of parking and loading, and traffic movement. TT is happy to take CCTT through TRO drawings in a separate meeting, prior to the wider public consultation.
  • TT: TT apologies for not communicating with CCTT about this TRO. We need to go through the engagement process before building this starts, and will explain what’s to happen.
  • CCTT: CCTT welcomes this offer. It is positive that modeling has now been done – earlier CCTT was told that modeling is not available. When will the other TROs be issued?
  • TT: statutory consultation takes 1 month. It should end at end of February. Public consultation will start mid-March.
  • CCTT: What are the plans for bus turns at Ocean Terminal and Ocean Point?
  • TT: Bus U-turns are part of the designs for traffic signals.
  • CCTT: how will TT respond to trees issues at Stevedore Place?
  • Conversations with locals are in progress, covering extra trees (e.g. at former Genting casino, Fingal car-park, Ocean Terminal, Ocean Drive) and extra hedges. Some existing trees will go, but there will be 2-for-1 replacement of trees.
  • Action: TT to share relevant plans with CCTT, and put relevant plans on its website.
  • TT: this will not lead to concerns about leaves on the tram-tracks? Trees will be far back enough.

4.c.3 Changes (if any) to projected completion dates for key phases and the overall project

TT: no such changes are anticipated

5 Any other business


6 Next meeting

Thursday 25 February 2021