“Traveling Safely” (sic) – Briefing Note : Princes Street Bus Lane / Gate – Temporary Removal

From an email received by the New Town & Broughton Community Council  on 21st February from Chris McGarvey, Senior Project Manager Transport, Place Development, City of Edinburgh Council

Existing Layout:
At the East end of Princes Street a bus lane/gate is currently in operation between the hours of 8:30am to 6:30pm. All other Spaces for People measures have been removed from this location.

Due to the additional pressures being experienced on the network as a result of tram works and North Bridge refurbishment works our partners in Police Scotland, Lothian Buses, Edinburgh Trams and private hire operators have requested that the bus lane/gate on Princes Street is removed. This request has been made through the Tram Traffic Management Review Panel, the Citywide Traffic Management Group and other forums where we share knowledge and experience of using and managing the network with valued stakeholders.

The removal of the bus lane/gate will allow traffic to enter Princes Street and turn right into South St David Street to continue their journey. Lothian Buses have advised that this will relieve some of the pressures their services are experiencing on York Place and surrounding streets due to ongoing tram works and associated diversions. It will also allow another option for traffic diverted by the North Bridge refurbishment work.

Edinburgh Trams advise that this change in traffic management will have no impact on their services and traffic will flow much more freely now their services are curtailed at Shandwick Place for two months.

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NTBCC response to ‘retaining Spaces for People measures’ consultation

Executive Summary

As noted below, the New Town and Broughton Community Council (NTBCC) considers the consultation to be deeply flawed. The inclusion of questions about measures not yet implemented is highly questionable. Until there has been an opportunity to evaluate the success or otherwise of any particular measures, it is impossible to make any valid judgment on whether they should be retained or removed. Many of the questions group cycling and walking together but the needs of these two groups are quite different making it impossible to properly judge the merits of specific measures for each of these groups. The survey is designed to encourage simple yes/no answers to questions about whether measures should be retained and does too little to obtain any insight into the consequences both favourable and otherwise from the implementation of the measures. The Commonplace Mapping tool would have been a far more effective means of obtaining genuine and considered feedback on the various measures that have been introduced. This lack of qualitative feedback will hamper any decision making by Council officials and Councillors. Edinburgh Council and its citizens deserve better than this hastily prepared and poorly designed survey.

With regard to the specific schemes already implemented in our area:

  • We are in favour of continuing with the changes to The Mound and Princes Street East with some provisos.
  • We are opposed to the measures on Waverley Bridge and London Road being retained and indeed believe that they should removed before the end of the current TTRO’s.
  • We do not agree that any of the measures yet to be introduced in our area including those to Broughton Street, Broughton Roundabout, Bellevue, Rodney Street or Canonmills should be considered for retention until there has been an opportunity to better assess their effectiveness.
  • We are also very concerned about the impact on traffic in our area of the planned changes to South Bridge and would urge that implementation is delayed until the consequences of the planned restrictions to vehicular traffic can be better understood. 

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East Princes Street / South St David Street – Bus, Cycle and Taxi gate & Footway Widening

Email from ‘Spaces for People’ to key stakeholders including local Ward Councillors as well as the New Town & Broughton Community Council and the Old Town Community Council.

Covid-19 Cycling and Walking Emergency Response Measures

East Princes Street / South St David Street – Proposal for Bus,Cycle and Taxi gate & Footway Widening

‘We are proposing to improve routes on East Princes Street and South St David Street by widening the existing 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.

Loading access for businesses in West Register Street will be maintained via the east end of Princes Street.  Loading on Princes Street (from South St David Street to North Bridge junctions will be available from 18:30 to 07:30 – timings may be subject to change.

These measures will be implemented under emergency delegated decision-making powers using a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order.

Given the urgent nature of these works, normal expectations about community consultations cannot be fulfilled. We urge you to get in touch within five working days or earlier should you want to raise any issues. If you do not have any concerns it would be beneficial if you could also email to let us know.  This means we will have responses from all stakeholders and this helps to inform the process.

Please note that the deadline for submitting comments is 17:00 on Wednesday 10th June 2020.

If the proposal is agreed for implementation, formal publicity will then be undertaken so that local people are aware of the changes. A dedicated inbox will help us to manage any feedback around proposals – spacesforpeople@edinburgh.gov.uk

The proposed designs for the scheme covering East Princes Street (including Leith Street) can be viewed here. and South St David Street  here

All comments will be reviewed and summarised in the assessment feedback form to the Council Incident Management Team for approval, but please note that we will be unable to respond to individual emails.


Spaces for People Team’