Local traffic congestion & Links Gardens closure

At the last meeting of the Leith Links Community Council, the following motion was proposed and carried.

Due to excessive local traffic congestion, with concomitant air pollution and danger to pedestrians and cyclists, Leith Links Community Council proposes that a review is needed of the closure of Links Gardens and of the working of the redesigned junction at the foot of Easter Road. This should be carried out in the context of all the other nearby road closures, roadworks, and diversions affecting traffic across Leith, and should include full consultation with local residents and businesses.

The motion has been passed on to our three local Councillors, and to all members of the Transport and Environment Committee.

At the Community Council meeting (which was held online, but was open to members of the public to attend), the following points were raised in discussion:

LLCC is receiving many emails from local residents about severe traffic congestion problems, particularly relating to the redesigned Easter Road junction and to the Links Gardens closure. Residents are divided: many support the closure of Links Gardens for use by pedestrians and cyclists, while others are deeply upset by the traffic congestion, delays and blocked routes that beset our area currently. Recent online petitions have garnered hundreds of signatures. Currently some streets (eg. East Hermitage Place / Vanburgh Place) are actually worse for pedestrians and cyclists, rather than better, due to nose-to-tail queuing traffic and air pollution. Delays to public transport drives more people back to their cars.

LLCC is not anti-cyclist and is not demanding immediate reopening of the road, but just requesting a review. There was no consultation at the time of the closure.

A recent report from Police Scotland (Community Officer) states that “There are no highlighted concerns from Police Scotland in relation to public safety for this road [Links Gardens] re-opening. From a Police Scotland point of view we have no objections to this road re-opening and resuming normal traffic. This will hopefully alleviate a lot of traffic that is amounting along Vanburgh Place and Hermitage Place due to the new traffic light system on Duke Street.”

It is clear that the traffic problems are not ALL caused by the closure of Links Gardens, but by a ‘perfect storm’ of multiple road closures, roadworks and diversions all over Leith, and also by the new junction at the bottom of Easter road which has never worked well. Re-opening Links Gardens is the one thing that could be relatively easily achieved, and might help somewhat, even just temporarily while the Tramworks are at their most disruptive.

CEC policy is apparently to hope for “traffic evaporation” but it is not clear how this can be achieved.

Cllr McVey noted that the Links Gardens closure, along with early Covid 19 measures on other roads, is due to be reviewed at the next meeting of the Transport and Environment Committee.

           

Community Councils Together on Trams: Minutes of meeting held on Thursday 30 July 2020

Leith Links Community Council is a member of the coalition ‘Community Councils Together on Trams’  (CCTT) alongside Leith Central Community CouncilLeith Harbour & Newhaven Community Council and New Town & Broughton Community Council. CCTT meets monthly with the Tram Team to discuss, scrutinise and influence the step by step development of the Trams to Newhaven project, on behalf of our local communities.

Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 30 July 2020 are copied below for information.

If you have something you want this Community Council to raise at one of these meetings, please email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk 

 

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Changes planned for Great Junction Street – have your say

City pf Edinburgh Council’s ‘SpacesforPeople’ scheme is proposing the following changes to Great Junction Street in order to make it better for pedestrians and cyclists.

Consultation time is very short – all comments must be in by 1200 on Friday 10 July to spacesforpeople@edinburgh.gov.uk

“Covid-19 Cycling and Walking Emergency Response Measures
Proposed waiting/loading restriction changes to facilitate footway widening – Great Junction Street

We would suggest that you view the attached plan to see the detail of what is proposed. In summary it shows:

  • Intervention to widen footpaths where necessary adjacent to commercial properties, unfortunately Great Junction Street has considerable street clutter that reduce the available width. Additional parking/loading/unloading facilities can be provided in adjacent side streets, and reintroduced where possible.
  • All of the existing bus stops will be retained.
  • Unfortunately, due to the limited width on the footway, and the presence of on street queueing significant footpath widening is necessary.
  • Footways widened into the bus lane on both sides of the road from Leith Walk to Junction Place, to enable social distancing in the area of highest density business premises.
  • Remainder of bus lane outside of widened footway to be availible for cyclists.
  • South west footway widened from Junction Place to Bangor Road to provide additional capacity for social distancing and to aid businesses reopening.
  • Note that it is planned that several narrow points at existing bus stops will be widened under Phase 2 when temporary ramp materials are available.

In the first instance these measures will be introduced quickly using temporary traffic management equipment, such as cones. Where deemed suitable, this equipment will then be replaced with more robust semi-permanent materials once available.

Given the urgency to make the required changes any comments relating to these proposals should be received by 1200hrs on Friday 10 July to spacesforpeople@edinburgh.gov.uk.

All feedback will be reviewed and where possible the scheme will be further refined. Feedback will be summarised in an assessment feedback form which will be presented to the Council Incident Management Team for approval. Please note that we will be unable to respond to each and every email.

If the proposal is approved for implementation, 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 introduction of, or changes to, any restrictions will be implemented under emergency delegated decision-making powers using a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order.

Regards

Spaces for People Team”

 

(you will see the map better if you open the view the attached plan document, this is just a screen shot)