A recommendation for the closure of the top of Leith Street in both directions for all traffic except cyclists for up to 44 weeks is due to presented to the Transport & Environment Committee on 21 March.
At the March NTBCC meeting, a last minute briefing by representatives from the Leith Street Stakeholder Engagement team was made – prompting disappointment (that residents were ‘left in the dark’), frustration with the process and concern over the consequences in equal measure.
The Stakeholder Engagement team did acknowledge that their “stakeholder engagement“ was more communication – resulting in NTBCC being told what diversions would happen. NTBCC were frustrated over the absence of a more useful consultation process with a reasonable time to respond.
Whilst we accept that, for efficiency and public safety, that it will be necessary to close Leith Street for a period of time to enable the work to be carried out and we also accept that considerable work has gone into the diversion routes proposed for bus and general traffic. However, it is unclear to us that a closure for as long as 44 weeks would be supported by an independent economic assessment, and we also have significant concerns on the absence of specific measures to ensure that the spill-over of diverted traffic into residential streets is minimised.
Although there is no formal consultation process, we have nonetheless submitted our thoughts on the proposal for consideration by councillors on the Transport & Environment Committee on Wednesday 21 March – the full submission is available here
This includes several further potential measures to minimise as far as possible the disruption caused by this closure as well as suggestions for continued review and amendments if required.