Phase 2 Parking Controls put ‘on hold’ for now

At Thursday’s meeting of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Transport and Environment Committee, after much discussion, a vote was taken to defer action on parking controls for the areas included in Phase 2 (which includes our area, still confusingly called ‘West Leith’ i.e. Lochend and Ryehill) until autumn 2022. There will be further consultation with local communities in the meanwhile.

The main reasons for deferring were  (1) the very high level of objections from local residents – roughly 75%, even higher in West Leith, and (2) waiting to see the effects of the Phase 1 parking controls – which WILL be coming in on Leith Walk and across Leith – in terms of parking migration, and (3) whether working patterns and parking demands may change, post pandemic..

The main argument for pressing ahead with the legal enablement of Phase 2 parking controls (TROs) had been that there will inevitably be ‘migration’ of parking into Easter Road and the Leith Links area as the Phase 1 parking controls in Leith  / Leith Walk start to bite. Residents may change their minds then, but getting the TROs in place is a lengthy process, so Council officers thought it would be better to get it done early.

You can watch the Committee discussions here (Item 7b on the agenda, starts at 3:42:29

Parking Controls on the Way – whether we like it or not…?

Although 75 per cent of residents say they have no problems with parking, the  City Council looks set to press on with plans for pay to park controls across the City, including in this area. Sorry for the short notice, but you need to read this as there is an important vote tomorrow!

Earlier this year local residents were consulted about plans to introduce controlled parking along the length of Easter Road and an area being called ‘West Leith’ which is bounded by Hermitage and East Hermitage Place, Restalrig Rd, Lochend Avenue and Lochend Rd, including the bottom end of Easter Rd and Academy Park. The consultation results are in, and are  considered by the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee on 19 August this week, alongside similar proposals for other areas of the City.

More than 16,000 leaflets were delivered to homes in 8 areas across the city where parking controls are proposed. Thousands of responses, emails and online comments were received. 75% of people said they did not experience parking problems (77% in ‘West Leith’). The problem people most often wanted action on was inconsiderate or dangerously parked cars, and there were reports of abandoned vehicles – which take up space. The 350 page report going to the Transport and Environment Committee says ‘It is clear from the consultation responses that there is a majority of respondents who do not believe that the introduction of parking controls is warranted at this time’.  

Nevertheless, tomorrow Thursday 19 August the City of Edinburgh Council Transport and Environment Committee could agree  to introduce parking controls in 8 areas of the City including ‘West Leith’. If agreed, a statutory ‘Traffic Regulation Order’ process would start, which could possibly lead to parking controls introduced from Autumn 2022. Residents would need to purchase permits for their vehicles – the Council paper estimates 799 people would need permits in ‘West Leith’, and non-residents would need to pay to park – a fee of £2.50 per hour Monday to Friday 8.30am  to 5.30pm is being proposed – with cashless ticket machines introduced.

Other matters in the report include a further delay to proposals around parking controls linked to events at stadiums, including Easter Road, and a proposal to monitor the effect of the controlled parking on adjacent areas like the so-called ‘East Leith’ area at the east (Seafield) end of Leith Links.  It is difficult to see why any visitor coming by car to Leith Links for, eg dog walking, football or just a picnic would prefer to park for £2.50 per hour at the west end of the Links instead of for free at the east end, so migration of parking is inevitable.

If you have views on this issue you need to contact your local Councillors and have your say QUICKLY!!! Tonight’s the night!

Your local Councillors are:

Cllr Adam McVey adam.mcvey@edinburgh.gov.uk
Cllr Gordon Munro gordon.munro@edinburgh.gov.uk
Cllr Chas Booth chas.booth@edinburgh.gov.uk – Chas Booth is a member of the Transport and Environment Committee, so it makes most sense to make sure he knows what your views are before tomorrow’s meeting.

Here is a link to the full Council paper for this week’s Committee meeting.

Links Gardens to re-open on 9th August

The Community Council has just received official notification from the Council (Spaces for People team) that Links Gardens is due to be re-opened to traffic on Monday 9th August.

Below is a copy of the email received. It seems obvious that the re-opening is not permanent but conditional on matters relating to the tramworks and to the proposed Low Traffic Neighbourhood. So monitoring of traffic flow, safety issues, collection of evidence, and feedback of local views will continue to be very important.

In the meanwhile it is not entirely clear from the Council’s email exactly what conditions are to be placed on the reopening. A key sentence seems to be: “Measures are going to be considered by the Tram team to mitigate the impact of traffic using local diversion routes near the school.”    We will try to find out asap what this means in practice,and will keep you informed.

So all local residents will want to keep an eye on how the re-opening goes, and please keep taking photos, when relevant, and feeding back on what effect (positive and /or negative) you feel the re-opening has on pedestrians, cyclists, school children, buses, cars, deliveries, traffic congestion on nearby roads, etc.  Comments are open below – do tell us how you think it’s going.

Opinions are mixed on this issue, overall, but the one thing none of us want, probably, is the return of the densely parked (dumped?) camper vans, trailers and caravans etc., along Links Gardens. We will be asking (again) whether signs can be obtained, to discourage this.

COPY

From: spacesforpeople <spacesforpeople@edinburgh.gov.uk>
Sent: Monday, August 2, 2021 4:43:21 PM

Dear Councillors and Stakeholders,

I refer to the ongoing closure of Links Gardens which was implemented as part of the Spaces for People programme of works in response to the Covid pandemic. The Links Gardens scheme is an initial Spaces for People project, originally implemented during the early stages of lockdown when restrictions limited the duration/method of exercise people could undertake. The original objectives of the project were to provide increased safe space for socially distanced exercise and to link together both sections of Leith Links.  

It was agreed at the Transport and Environment Committee on 17 June that the closure of Links Gardens will be removed during tram construction in the area, but the reinstatement of the closure will be considered again in the future, subject to consultation with local people as part of proposals for a Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood.

Accordingly I am writing to notify you of Links Gardens being reopened on Monday the 9 August in advance of the Tram works commencing at the Foot of the Walk. Measures are going to be considered by the Tram team to mitigate the impact of traffic using local diversion routes near the school.

I trust that this updates you on the current position however if you require any further information or clarification please do not hesitate to contact Barry Clarke, Senior Project Manager at barry.clarke@edinburgh.gov.uk

Regards

Andy Edwards

Dr Andy Edwards | South West Locality | Place | The City of Edinburgh Council | 10 Westside Plaza, Edinburgh EH14 2ST | email: andy.edwards@edinburgh.gov.uk |

 

 

 

 

Leith Links Community Council responds to City of Edinburgh Councils Leith Connections consultation on a Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood

Leith Links Community Council has now submitted its response to the City of Edinburgh Councils Leith Connections consultation on their planned changes to how we move around Leith.Leith Connections

Our full response can be viewed by clicking here.

Previous website articles by us can be viewed by clicking here.

 

 

Low Traffic Neighbourhood – hunt for the buried survey!

Have you tried to register your comments yet, on the proposed Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood? It is very important that everybody has their say, as the plan will have a major impact on the area and all who live and work here.

But actually FINDING the survey is easier said than done! A link is provided to the consultation as a whole:

https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/low-traffic-neighbourhoods/

BUT they have completely buried the link to the ‘Give us your Feedback’ section under layer after layer of background, project development, feedback from previous consultation, FAQ and all sorts of other bits and pieces of documentation and other links that can take you round and round in circles, getting more and more puzzled / frustrated….

Why, it’s almost like they didn’t really want people to find the survey and fill it in……

There is a real concern that some people may in fact NEVER find the actual survey bit – or even lose the will to live!

While we do advise everybody to read, ideally, all the background and explanation stuff, you may nonetheless find it useful to also have a link to the actual survey because it is so difficult to find!

Or you may get so annoyed by being ‘led’ on various points – or be short of time and/ or temper-  and might prefer to cut to the chase and give your views uninfluenced by all the preamble.

So here is the key link to the actual survey
https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=162192819351

Please respond by 4rth July

Leith Connections: Public meetings to be held in relation to Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood and segregated cycle route between the Foot of the Walk and Ocean Terminal

City of Edinburgh Council have today published full details of their two planned virtual public meetings about Leith Connections.

The virtual public meetings are not mentioned on the leaflets currently circulating in our community so please do help us to spread the word.

Meetings will be held on the following dates & times;

If you are unable to go to one of the meetings due to them being fully booked please email anna.mcrobbie@aecom.com to register your interest in attending as they may hold further meeting/s.

Leith Links Community Council would encourage you to fully participate in the Leith Connections consultation by filling in the project teams online survey and attending one of the public meetings.

 

 

Public meeting information from Eventbrite website:

Join the project team to discuss the concept designs and proposed interventions of the Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood

About this event

We are hosting public co-design workshops so that residents can share their views and help inform the designs of the Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood. In these sessions we aim to:

  • gain local insight into the study area
  • listen to community feedback on the proposals
  • involve the community in helping to develop the designs
  • provide background to the project
  • raise awareness of the project and its objectives
  • summarise engagement and data findings to date

The first session will be held on Wednesday 23rd June and the second on Thursday 1st July. Both sessions will be held between 6.30pm-8pm.

Further details on how to access the meeting will be issued along with an information pack in advance of the meeting upon registration.

 

Leith Connections – Consultation launched on Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood and segregated cycle route between the Foot of the Walk and Ocean Terminal

On Friday 4 June 2021 City of Edinburgh Council launched its consultation on the proposed Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme. This latest consultation follows community engagement activity earlier this year.

Leith Connections consists of two areas of development;

  1. Development of a high quality segregated cycle route between the Foot of the Walk and Ocean Terminal
  2. A Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) to create streets that are safer for walking, cycling, wheeling and spending time by ensuring lower traffic conditions across the area.

The City of Edinburgh Councils consultation survey says – ‘Leith Connections will create a safer and more comfortable street environment for residents and visitors walking, cycling, wheeling and spending time in the local streets and outdoor spaces of Leith. The project will build upon the City of Edinburgh Council’s current cycling and waking projects, our Active Travel Action Plan, the QuietRoute network and also the cycle and walking improvements that are part of the Trams to Newhaven project.’

 


Promoting the proposed developments

City of Edinburgh are/have been delivering leaflets to local residents and are planning on displaying leaflets & posters within the local community. Social media is also being used to spread word on the proposals. Photographs of the leaflet are at the end of this post.

Public meetings

City of Edinburgh Council have informed us that they plan to hold two online public meetings regarding Leith Connections on 23rd June and 1st July 2021. As of the date & time of this blog post we have not been given details such as the time of the meetings or details as to how people can sign up.

As soon as we hear from City of Edinburgh Council what time the meetings are taking place and how people can sign up to attend we will post details in a new blog post on our website, and share on our social media.

 

Consultation survey

City of Edinburgh Councils consultation survey is online until 4 July 2021, click here to read about the plans and submit your views.

If anyone wishes a version of the survey in braille, large print, paper, audio or another language please email miles.wilkinson@edinburgh.gov.uk, telephone him by calling 0131 332 1122 or by writing to him at – FREEPOST RTRS-YLCY-EAEA, Community Engagement: Leith Connections, Clocktower, Unit 1 Flassches Yard, South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9LB.

Paper copies of the survey can also be requested from Leith Links Community Council by emailing contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk.

Please note that if comments not submitted via the consultation survey, such as on social media, may not be viewed, recorded or considered by City of Edinburgh Council.

 

Local Councillors

There are three City of Edinburgh Council Councillors representing Leith Ward 13, in addition to completing the survey you may wish to communicate with your Councillor.

If contacting Councillors please do so respectfully.

 

 

Keep or throw out the Spaces for People measures? Don’t forget to have your say!’

You still have 9 days to make your views known! Deadline is 5th April 2021.

Do you think that Edinburgh should keep the Spaces for People introduced over the past year as ‘temporary measures’  – or should they be removed?

Please fill in the consultation form as soon as possible. The consultation allows you to support or reject ALL of the measures, or to comment on some particular roads.

The Spaces for People measure that affects our own Leith Links area is the closure of Links Gardens to motor traffic. What is your view – should it be re-opened or stay closed?

Another proposed scheme that has had very little publicity is the intention to make a wider pavement and uphill cycle path on the Smokey Brae – which would then become one-way only (down) for motor vehicles. (This is not in the Leith Links area but it’s a route that many of us use, especially while Leith Walk is out of commission.)

Many people have felt that the voice of local communities has not been listened to, over the introduction of these measures. Well, now is your chance to say what you think! Please fill in the consultation. Do read it very carefully, as some of the questions are framed in unexpected ways so you might end up ticking the opposite of what you mean…. (the fact that the consultation is actually called ‘retaining spaces for people’ is a bit of a giveaway as to how the survey may be ‘leading’ you…)

https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/bi/retainingspacesforpeopleconsultation/

Leith Links Community Council response to ‘Leith Connections’ consultation

On Monday 1 March 2021 we held a virtual public meeting (using Zoom) where Community Councillors and assembled citizens gave due consideration to the City of Edinburgh Council ‘Leith Connections’ proposal & consultation.Leith Connections

We were very pleased that thirty two local citizens participated in the meeting, alongside our Community Councillors (and Councillors Booth & McVey) came along to engage with attending Council officials.

We used the discussions that took place as the basis of our formal response to the City of Edinburgh Council, which are we are pleased to make public this evening. Click here to view our response.

Our Chairperson, Jim Scanlon MBE said today ‘Firstly I’d like to thank Miles and Martyn from the City Council Leith Connections project team who gave up their time to attend the community council public meeting and answer questions from local residents.

We had an interesting range of questions and ideas from the community and hope that the team consider them as they produce finalised designs.’

 


Click here to sign up to our quarterly e-newsletter. We produce a new issue every January, April, July and October, with occasional special editions. We wont spam you and each issue includes a link to unsubscribe, which you can do at any time.


 

 

Come to discussion meetings on traffic / travel / parking

Edinburgh City Council is proposing various new traffic schemes for our area as if they were completely separate events. But if you add together all the various effects of each scheme, there will be a major impact on local residents.

Is the community getting enough chance to share information and air its views? 

The next two (online) meetings of the Leith Links Community Council will be on:

1. Monday 1st March at 6:30 pm, and

2. Monday 8th Match at 6:30 pm

For both meetings, the Agenda will be turned over entirely to discussion of travel & mobility changes proposed that will affect our area.

Please come, and make your views known!

More about the meetings

1.

On March 1st we will discuss the ‘Leith Connections’ / Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme for Leith scheme (because this consultation has an earlier deadline date).

To register to attend this meeting (free, obviously) please click here. (Now closed)

If you would like to submit a question to be asked on the evening please click here. (Now closed)

‘Leith Connections’ is about a new, safer cycle route through Leith which involves removing parking, moving bus stops and closing some roads to motor traffic.

‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood’ involves closing several roads to traffic / creating one-way routes and cul de sacs, with the intention of making the area safer and nicer to walk or wheel through.

You can view the plans and should respond directly via this consultation which closes on 28th February.

https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/leith-connections/
Or email your comments to miles.wilkinson@edinburgh.gov.uk 

2.

On Monday 8th March, we will discuss the proposed Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) in the area between Easter Road / Lochend Road / Restalrig Road.

To register to attend this meeting, please click here. (Now closed)

If you would like to submit a question to be asked on the evening please click here. (Now closed)

See the plans and comment here: https://consultprojectcentre.co.uk/ph2westleith
(consultation runs until 14th March)

You can also visit the consultant’s virtual drop-in session on 24 Feb. or 2 March (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/west-leith-cpz-drop-in-session-tickets-138733558809)

***

What’s going on?

City of Edinburgh Council is proposing a set of big changes to the road  / traffic / parking  systems in our area. For example – in addition to the tramworks of course – a controlled parking zone all through Leith Walk and Leith; possibly making Spaces for People road closures (eg Links Gardens) permanent; a controlled parking zone for ‘West Leith’ (actually the Easter Road / Lochend Road / the colonies / Restalrig Road area); a new cycle route through Leith that includes road closures and removal of parking spaces; a Low Traffic Neighbourhood’ that would effectively close Leith off to through traffic (and make the road alongside the Links one of only two main routes). The aim of all of these is to reduce emissions and make the area safer and more pleasant, which in theory everybody of course would agree with, and support. There would however be big impacts on people who need to use cars for work, or because of age or disability or family reasons, and for businesses.

Have the plans been thought through well enough, by people who really know the area?

Has there been adequate engagement with the local community?

1 2