Environmental and climate events

There are currently many opportunities to get involved in environmental and climate-change activities. Check out some or all of these posts on Leith Central, Leith Harbour & Newhaven and New Town & Broughton CCs' websites

And while you're doing that, why not check out what else CCs in central and north-east Edinburgh are doing for their communities?

NTBCC minutes – Monday 14 September 2020

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s public meeting, held via Zoom, on Monday 14 September 2020 at 7pm

Actions and decisions are red italic. ND (‘no dissent’) means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision. Continue reading

Broughton Street Improvements – Proposal for Input into the ‘Spaces for People’ process

The New Town & Broughton Community Council is aware of the many comments submitted through the Spaces for People ‘Commonplace’ interactive tool in respect to improvements on Broughton Street and is supportive of any measures that would make Broughton Street safer for pedestrians and support local businesses.

Now that proposals for many of the designated ‘town centres’ and some other streets have been brought forward by Edinburgh Council, NTBCC  urge the Council to look further ahead and prioritise proposals for Broughton Street as soon as possible and take the opportunity to develop the street as a destination rather than as a thoroughfare.

We note the original proposal by Mark Lazarowicz on social media and his amended proposal which can be viewed here (email response to  NTBCC after seeing the draft minutes posted for the June NTBCC meeting). Mark’s proposals have been a welcome stimulus to debate. NTBCC’s initial view is that there is insufficient space to expand pavements on both sides, as well as retain two lanes of traffic and the required number of loading bays to support the many local, independent businesses - as well as create a proposed segregated cycle lane. In our view, this would result in a cluttered appearance, and encourage vehicles and (northbound) cycles to speed within their segregated spaces.

NTBCC’s current view is that -

  • Traffic should be reduced to two lanes (except at the junction with Picardy Place heading south)
  • Cycles should be encouraged to use the much safer Dublin Street, which also provides a direct link with the North St Andrew Street cycle lane and is the designated NCN 75 route. This would have the added advantage of encouraging cycles to avoid, where possible, the Picardy gyratory. Implementation of the long-awaited crossing at the junction of London Street and Drummond Place should be expedited to further improve this.
  • ‘Dwelling’ should be encouraged in the expanded footway, to attract trade for local business and improve the ambience for pedestrians in what is one of Edinburgh’s most attractive and characterful streets.
  • Pavements should be extended along much of the street on both sides, removing the 13 Pay & Display spaces (retaining an appropriate number of Blue Badge spaces) and, following consultation with local businesses, remove some of the loading bays (from the current 13 on Broughton Street)  to, for example, 4 on the east and 3 on the west sides. Another option would be to consider time windows for deliveries – similar to proposals elsewhere.
  • The pavement could be wider on the eastern, sunnier side to encourage “dwelling” (following a principle employed in the plans for George Street). Extension of the footway should if possible avoid plastic ‘wands’, which are obtrusive and unsightly and can be hazardous when moved out of position by vehicles or high winds.
  • In the longer term, low bollards as deployed on George IV Bridge should be used to prevent vehicles encroaching on pavements. We recommend that all bus stops be retained.
  • The street suffers from speeding traffic and the roadway should be made safe for cycling with physical traffic calming measures in both directions to enforce the 20mph limit. The main enemy of cycling in Edinburgh is speeding traffic.

NTBCC believe these proposals are consistent with the weight of opinion expressed on the Spaces for People ‘Commonplace’ tool for Broughton St. We believe that there should of course be further consultation and discussion with residents and local businesses, preferably by the SfP team. However, given the concerns expressed by some regarding the consultation process, NTBCC will also try to gauge the views of local businesses as well as input from residents’ associations.

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North Bridge – Proposed Bus, Cycle and Taxi gate & Footway Widening at Junctions

Abridged email from 'Spaces for People' (received at 4:00pm on Friday 5th June)  - previously communicated to key stakeholders including local Ward Councillors - then copied to the New Town & Broughton Community Council and the Old Town Community Council.

Covid-19 Cycling and Walking Emergency Response Measures

Proposed Bus, Cycle and Taxi gate and Footway widening at junctions on North Bridge

Dear Stakeholders,

'We are proposing to improve pedestrian routes on North Bridge, by widening the existing narrow footways, reducing traffic movements and aiding cycling and public transport provision 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.  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.

Footway widening is being carried out only at the junctions with Princes Street and High Street due to the existing structural works being carried out on North Bridge.  Loading will be available on North Bridge from 6pm to 7.30am although these times may be subject to change. Additional proposals for South Bridge and surrounding areas will be provided later.

Advance warning signs for the bus, cycle and taxi gate will be installed at Leith Walk, Leith Street, York Place and Picardy Place.'

'Spaces for People Team'

These measures,  in common with others on East Princes Street / South St David Street (as previously posted) and Waverley Bridge will be implemented using a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order.

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 North Bridge can be viewed here.

Response to City Mobility Plan Consultation April 2020

SUMMARY

  • Revise the plan to take account of changes following the COVID-19 pandemic. Implementation will need to be reassessed, and there are likely to be opportunities to make faster progress towards some of the long-term objectives
  • Ensure a safe infrastructure for cycling, but prioritise pedestrians and public transport at all stages
  • Revise transport and economic priorities so the health benefits of lower emissions in the lockdown are retained in the long-term; introduce restrictive measures to maintain lower volumes of traffic in city streets
  • Any increase in private car use, because of lower risk of infection, should be carefully managed: ensure the focus remains on delivering the CMP’s long-term environmental and health benefits
  • Accelerate the switch to EVs, especially buses, taxis and delivery vehicles
  • Revise the parking proposals: reverse planned increases, and cut spaces in the centre and surrounding areas to encourage a lower level of private car use and take account of more people working from home
  • The ‘mass rapid transport system’, as conceived, is not comprehensive – or rapid – enough to deliver a “car-free” future: it should be more ambitious
  • In particular, options for light rail should be urgently explored with potential partners
  • The LEZ proposal should be expanded to extend the greatest protection from harmful emissions to residents beyond the central business and tourism district, and should include Queen Street and York Place
  • A robust and radical approach is needed to enforce the 20mph speed limits
  • We support pedestrianisation of streets – but only if an effective framework is put in place to protect them from over-use by events or activities of a commercial or tourist nature
  • There should be no return to the unsustainable levels of tourism and commercial exploitation of public space of recent years: diversify the economy away from over-dependence on these, and limit use of public space to the existing small number of established large-scale events.
  • Focus instead on local businesses and economic sectors which bring sustainable, long-term added value to the city economy
  • We ask all parties on the Council to work together to deliver consistent planning decisions which ensure that private sector activity aligns fully with the city’s long-term environmental and economic aims.

The full submission can be viewed here 

NTBCC minutes – Monday 9 March 2020

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s meeting, held in Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 9 March 2020 at 7pm

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