Response to Edinburgh Council’s Advertised Order for On-Street EV Charging Places (TRO/21/24)

The Traffic Regulation Order for the ‘Introduction of EV Charging Points’  across Edinburgh as covered under TRO/21/24 was open for comments until 10 December. Following discussions with local residents within the proposed areas, the New Town & Broughton Community Council  (NTBCC) made the following response to proposals for EV charging bays within NTBCC’s area. 

The New Town and Broughton Community Council (NTBCC) welcomes the rollout of on-street public electric vehicle (EV) charging capacity across the city and in particular within the NTBCC area.  The Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) indicates that ‘charging places’ will be established on three streets within NTBCC’s area but provides very little other detail about what will be installed and how access to these charging points will be controlled.

The published details of this TRO with proposed sites relevant to the NTBCC area can be viewed here (link now corrected)

We would also note that following initial positive discussion with  the Council officials responsible for the roll-out of the charging places across Edinburgh, at which we were able to obtain answers to many of our questions , and  we also noted the willingness of Council officials to consider changes to some of these proposals, NTBCC looks forward to continuing dialogue with the EV Charging Team on these matters.

However, with regard to the TRO as lodged, we have the following comments on the three proposed locations for the charging bays in our area.

East London Street

We object to the proposed location opposite a primary school, which is likely to increase traffic thus adding to the road safety concerns for parents and children walking to school. The four Rapid chargers proposed for this location will inevitably mean that there will be a regular turnover of vehicles throughout the day. This road will also serve as a route for traffic diverted as a result of the Trams project until at least early 2023. Given the expected increase in traffic, the Trams project are looking at additional traffic calming and road safety measures that are incompatible with the specific proposed location on East London Street.

This area also has recently been made available for dual use parking (resident permit and pay&display). These spaces were so designated in the last review of the CPZ to mitigate the loss of resident only parking in other parts of this street. The planned use of this location for EV charging will result in a further loss of parking spaces for use by residents.

We consider that there are better locations for the planned charging place on this street. It should be relocated away from the school and any consequent loss of residential parking should be replaced by converting remaining pay and display bays on this street into resident permit only or dual use.

Heriot Row

We note that the proposed location of the eight Fast charging bays, notionally intended for use by residents, is adjacent to an existing car club parking area along this side of the street and suggest that some of the new charging bays are made available for use by car club customers to encourage greater use of such vehicles.

Given that this is a much wider street than the adjacent India Street, it is suggested that this may be a better location for the Rapid chargers proposed for this part of the City. It also has much better access making it is easier for electric vehicles to use the charging places. We recognise that there may be other considerations including power supply that may prevent this option but we believe that it is worthy of consideration even at this stage.

India Street/Circus Gardens  

We object to the proposed location, which we consider to be inappropriate for the type of charging intended for this location. The use of this location for rapid charging will have an adverse impact on traffic management and road safety.

The intended short-term use of rapid chargers will result in significant additional traffic movements on a 24-hour basis with a consequent increase in nuisance for residents. The proposed location backing on to India Street Gardens is in a quiet residential cul de sac at the bottom of India Street. Traffic flows are therefore low so that residents are currently untroubled by anything apart from residents’ cars and delivery vans.

Being a cul de sac requires a three-point turn to reverse out of the parking spaces. The proposed bays will be 7 metres deep (replacing car parking spaces of 5 metres depth), which means there will be even less room for turning cars.

This street is also a relatively steep setted street, which in icy conditions can become extremely difficult for drivers to negotiate. With their generally greater weight, electric vehicles are likely to experience even greater problems.

If a charging place is to be installed on this street, we suggest that alternative locations are considered where the above issues will have less impact. We also suggest that rather than Rapid chargers that Fast chargers are installed either by swapping the planned installations on India Street and Heriot Row or just installing Fast chargers in both locations.

Also, as noted for East London Street above, this will result in a further reduction in resident parking spaces on a street where such provision is already limited. Any loss of resident bays should result in other parking on the street being designated as either resident only or at the least dual use.

We would be very willing to provide further clarification of the above points and discuss potential options to address these concerns.

Mike Birch

Transport Convenor – NTBCC

8 December 2021