Changes to Bus Routes around the Leith Links Area

You may have seen a notice about proposed changes to bus services around Leith Links, due to start on 11th September. Click here to read the proposals.

Lothian Buses make it sound as though this is what Leith Links Community Council asked for, but that’s really not true – or only very partially true (Yes, we think people DO want a bus to run through the Links). But in fact neither the Community Council nor local residents were consulted about any of the details and received no prior warning of these proposals. We have some concerns about the scope of the changes.

Click here to read or scroll down to see the letter that we have sent today to Lothian Buses about the proposed changes.

We have asked Lothian Buses to meet with us and to attend the next meeting of the Community Council (which is next Monday, 29th August). We’ll keep you posted about the response we receive to this letter.



Lothian Buses


Dear Sirs

I am writing on behalf of Leith Links Community Council, with regard to the imminent proposed changes to bus services in our area.

As you are aware, we have been campaigning for a new bus service to run through Leith Links to serve the large population in the growing number of new housing developments on the north side of the Links. We were looking for a new service, to replace the No. 12 service that was summarily removed a couple of years ago. We were NOT looking for a revamp of several well-established and well-used bus services in the wider area beyond the Links – that, while it could benefit some residents (nearest to the Links), could significantly disadvantage many others in our community (residents along the Restalrig Road and Lochend Road corridors).

In the discussions we have had most recently, with Ian Bieniowski and later John White, and Ben Ritchie, we were led to believe that prior to a new service being, hopefully, introduced in due course, Lothian Buses would continue holding discussions with the community, as regards the needs of local people. Also we were expecting to see proposals that would be presented with a view of how local bus routes are expected to link to / work with the tram service, and with some data on actual and projected usage, and catchment area, including the catchment numbers still to be built along Seafield Road.

So while we appreciate that Lothian Buses has, in one sense, ‘listened’ and been willing to act promptly, we are however very disappointed that you have autocratically introduced sweeping changes without any consultation with the local community, and with no transparency, or presentation/communication of evidence. Also with very little notice and a lack of information about the existing and proposed new frequency of the relevant services.

Can we meet as soon as possible, please, to discuss this? And please will you send a representative to our next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council, which will be online on Monday 29 August at 6:30 pm, to explain the proposed changes and to answer questions? That meeting will be open to the public.

The immediate response to the proposed changes from our local community has been mostly negative, as far as we can establish so far. (Our efforts at consultation will continue.)

On the positive side, a bus running through the Links, and access to Aldi and Ocean Terminal, will be welcome, so thank you for that. But overall the 34 is probably the least popular bus that could possibly have been chosen, as it is relatively infrequent and a very slow route into town because it follows a circuitous route. Therefore it is perhaps not likely to attract much of a ridership going south into town (which may be used as an excuse to later axe it again…?). However the wholesale swapping over of Lochend Road buses with Restalrig Road buses has met with some horrified hostility. Why is this necessary? The 25 and 21 are both much needed routes, well-used by residents around the Links as well as further up Restalrig Road, and losing those is a very high cost for the local population.

This is not just a minor adjustment, though it may look like that to fit young people sat in front of a big map onscreen. On the ground, in real life, the distance between Restalrig Road and Lochend Road is too far to ‘just walk through’ for older and less able people. People adapt and develop their lives – and often make momentous decisions about their jobs, and house purchases – around the bus services that are available to them. Sudden changes to bus services can be traumatic and life changing. Also, having to take two buses instead of one can be unaffordable for many, especially in the current cost of living crisis.

The changes you are proposing (swapping 25 & 21, for 34 & 49 which, aside from their routes, are both less frequent services), seem to be maximally disruptive to both local communities (Restalrig Road and Lochend Road) without actually addressing any of the other main issues with bus services in Leith (no bus to Western General, concern over the loss of the No. 22, traffic congestion in Great Junction Street etc.).

We look forward to hearing from you, urgently, on this matter.

Jim Scanlon MBE, Chair

Leith Links Community Council



Scott Arthur, Transport for Edinburgh, Convener, Transport & Environment Committee

Elected Councillors

(Ward 13) Booth, Faccienda, McVey

(Ward 14) Aston, Griffiths, Staniforth, Whyte



Next meeting of Leith Links Community Council, Monday 27th June at 6:30pm, online

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be held on Monday 27th June at 6:30pm, online (Microsoft Teams)

Papers for the meeting will be issued soon.

Scottish Water and the operators of Seafield, Veolia, will be attending to give an update on the sewage plant and answer questions about recent odour issues.

As always, our meetings are open to interested members of the public. If you wish to attend, please email and you will be sent an invitation / link for the meeting.


Just like when you’re waiting on a 16 bus stuck in a traffic jam three arrive at the same time.

The City Council have added three really important consultations for the future of Leith to the consultation hub on the city council webpage.


Leith Connections: Phase 3 west – east proposals – City of Edinbu

Leith Connection Phase 3 has some lovely graphics including one of Salamander Street with a new cycle lane and narrowed road space for cars and trucks that I’m sorry to say do have to use our roads every day on one of the main arterial routes East to West through the city.

I also find it strange that the graphic doesn’t show the CPZ plan for the same route which had permit holder and pay and display parking on Salamander Street at the same view in the graphic so I do wonder IF these teams actually communicate with each other.

The Leith Connection Phase 3 consultation is open until 17 July so please, please make your thoughts known.


ETRO Go Home?

The next consultation is on ETRO which we may remember in a previous life was known as Spaces for People. Love it or loathe it,  the road coning and closures project introduced to make streets safer for cycling, walking and wheeling during the pandemic is now finally up for public consultation. This is your opportunity to comment on the future plans. Do you want them kept or ditched? Have your say now or you could be stuck with them permanently.



Finally, the Leith Links Master Plan is also open on the consultation hub for your positive or negative comments. Please use this opportunity to add your views on how you would like to see Leith Links developed for all residents in the future.

The Leith Links Masterplan Team had a stall at Leith Gala and many members of the public visited the tent to find out more and to share their views, so now it’s your turn to do the same.

You can see more about the plans here.

Leith Links Masterplan – City of Edinburgh Council – Citizen Space

You can also comment here, on the Hub, but you’ll only find a very limited set of leading questions. If you have more to say on any specific point, you should email directly to

The deadline for this consultation is 31 July. Please also be sure to copy your email also to our elected Councillors:



Leith Links Community Council next meeting Monday 28th February 6:30 online

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be held on Monday 28th, February at 6:30pm, online (Microsoft Teams)

The Agenda for the next meeting and minutes of January’s meeting will be issued shortly

As always, our meetings are open to interested members of the public. If you wish to attend, please email and you will be sent an invitation / link for the meeting.

Thank you for your support


Important! The City Council have reached the next step (Traffic Regulation Order, consultation stage) in the introduction of Controlled Parking Zones for Abbeyhill, Leith Walk, Pilrig, Leith and North Leith, which were first proposed and discussed back in 2019.  This covers some (but not all) of the Leith Links area (which apparently counts as ‘Leith’ in this scheme) see map below, and will definitely also affect other parts of our area that are just on/beyond the boundary, as parking will ‘migrate’ from the controlled zone to the nearest free parking. The boundary is along the edge of the Links, so there will be increased demand for parking on Vanburgh, Hermitage & East Hermitage Place, Gladstone Place and Claremont Park, and other streets nearest these.

NB. This is different from and not to be confused with the proposed CPZ for our area earlier this year (for the area inaccurately referred to as ‘West Leith’) which has been paused / postponed until later in 2022. Final plans and consultation of that are still to come, next year.

Comments on this first TRO/21/03ADY have to be made in writing by 12th November so there is not much time.




To view detailed plans and further information regarding the proposals, please visit the consultation website:

With comments on the proposals or any details of them, please email by 12th November the team at 

Click on the project link and then scroll down and click on EDINBURGH AREA N8

This takes you to the ’tile’ maps which shows existing and proposed changes

It’s not easy to drill down to the important pages, and then you have to look at each numbered tile, then look at existing and proposed for each section

For example tiles 930,989,871 and 830 are closest to my house on the LEITH map tile grid for Links Gardens. (There’s also a North Leith tile map)

Having looked at each section you have to print off the legend map at the top of the page so you know what each colour indicates. For example pink is resident parking, brown is pay and display/resident parking, shared  – and on and on it goes.

Finding the pages to make comments is not easy and may put people off commenting. (I’m sure the City Council will deny that it has deliberately made it complicated to put people off commenting. However, I feel that  it could have been much better designed IF the council really wanted local people to engage…).

But please do try to have a look and make comments, it’s our only chance to affect the final decisions.



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
Cllr Gordon Munro
Cllr Chas Booth – 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.


From: spacesforpeople <>
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


Andy Edwards

Dr Andy Edwards | South West Locality | Place | The City of Edinburgh Council | 10 Westside Plaza, Edinburgh EH14 2ST | email: |





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:

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

Please respond by 4rth July

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